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CLASS OF 1889 









MACMILLAN & CO., Limited 




Al (.1 M IN 1)A1.\ 





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All rights reserved 

Copyright, 1917, 

Published September, 1917. 

J. S. Cushinj; Co. — Berwick & Smith Co. 
Norwood, Muss., U.S.A. 





No apology is needed for giving an account of the man who 
lifted the American stage from a very low estate to a 
position of great dignity, and gave the dramatic art of his 
own country a first place in two continents ; and who did 
all his life work with such courage in the face of obstacles 
and such steadfastness in pursuit of a single purpose, that 
the history of his career must give heart to every self- 
reliant, intelligent striver in every business of life. 


When Joseph Francis Daly died in August, 1916, he left 
complete the manuscript of this book, on which he had been 
working for years. The fact that he did not live to revise 
the proofs may have resulted in errors, although great 
pains have been taken to avoid them, and it is believed 
that they will be few and unimportant. The photographs 
used as illustrations were in almost every case set aside 
by the author for the purpose ; his own portrait is, of course, 
an exception, having been inserted as part of a record that 
includes many phases of his own as well as of his brother's 


Augustin Daly Frontispiece 


Augustin Daly, from a Daguerreotype (about 1854) 19 

Fanny Davenport 90 

Agnes Ethel 99 

Clara Morris no 

The Fifth Avenue Theatre (the Day after the Fire) .... 116 

Mrs. G. H. Gilbert 186 

Augustin Daly in 1875 207 

Reading the Play (1882) 357 

Ada Rehan (1883) 364 

Augustin Daly 387 

John Drew 428 

Augustin Daly 528 

James Lewis 598 

Augustin Daly in 1898 618 

Joseph Francis Daly 637 

FIRST PERIOD: 1838-1869 



Family Romance. A young Kerry girl and her lover. Separation. 
Elopement. Married into the army. A widow with one child 
captured by the French. The child saved from the sea. Kindness 
of the French. Arrival at Jamaica. The buried city of Port 
Royal. Montego Bay. The lovers reunited. Their daughter 
Elizabeth. Life in the West Indies. An adventurous young 
Quaker. Travelling theatricals. John Bernard and William 
Rufus Blake. Negro insurrection. Punishment of slaves. Eliza- 
beth's intercession. Social traits. Emigration to the United 
States. Efforts to embark. Twice retarded. Arrival of Captain 
Daly. To New York in his vessel. Marriage of Elizabeth. Denis 
Daly's family and character. Settles in Plymouth, North Carolina. 
Augustin Daly born. The last voyage. Hurried journey. The 
sailor's grave. His estate in North Carolina "administered" to 
death. Removal to Norfolk, Virginia. The boys see their first 
play. Murdock and Miss Russell, afterwards Mrs. Hoey. Dick 
Turpin surpasses Macbeth. Removal to New York. 

Whether Augustin Daly's gift for the dramatic art was 
inherited can never be known. There was a Richard 
Daly, a Dublin manager noted for his skill in discovering 
and training talent for the stage ; and there was a John 
Daly, a dramatist of Dublin, one or two of whose works 
survive ; but no connection with these individuals can be 
traced. Augustin Daly's father was a sailor, one grand- 
father a soldier, and the other a farmer. 

A young Kerry girl, Margaret Moriarty, born in 178 1 
of a well-known family of Tralee, fell in love at the age 



of sixteen with John Duffey of Carlow, older than herself 
by several years and destined, it is said, by his family for 
the Church. They were separated ; and in girlish despera- 
tion Margaret ran away, married into the army, and was 
left a young widow with one child, in Gibraltar. Sailing 
for home, they were captured by the French in the Bay of 
Biscay. In transferring the prisoners from their vessel to 
one of the French fleet the little daughter Catherine fell 
into the sea, but was rescued by a sailor and taken to an- 
other vessel. The French (who, my grandmother was 
particular to say, were uniformly kind in the treatment 
of their prisoners) exerted themselves to trace the lost 
child and restore it to its mother. An exchange of pris- 
oners that afterwards took place brought the young widow 
and the family of General Darby together, and she was 
taken to Jamaica, the principal island of the British West 

They landed at Port Royal or Kingston and crossed over 
the mountains to Falmouth and Montego Bay on the 
north coast, a part singularly free from the visitations of 
earthquake which have caused such destruction in and 
about Kingston. At the time Margaret entered that 
harbor, over a hundred years ago, she could discern be- 
neath its waters the houses of old Port Royal which had 
been overwhelmed by a former convulsion. 

The first Sunday after her arrival in Montego Bay Mar- 
garet went to church followed by a negro lad, bearing, as 
was customary, her kneeling cushion. She had to slip oflF 
her shoe, which was naturally a size smaller than it ought 
to be. This shoe she carefully concealed by a fold of her 
dress ; but when she was about to rise from her knees, it 
had disappeared. A glance behind showed the solitary 
but conspicuous figure of an officer in uniform who was 
also devoutly kneeling, but guarding the little shoe, which 


he had managed to abstract with his cane. Filled with 
indignation, the lady's flashing eyes looked the audacious 
culprit full in the face and recognized the lover of her girl- 
hood ! They walked homeward together and exchanged 
the stories of their long separation. He was a widower 
and had with him two little girls younger than her daughter 
Catherine. His wife had been a Quakeress and had borne 
him a large family, of whom Sarah, born in Guernsey, and 
Mary Ann, born in Cavan, survived. 

The marriage of the long-separated lovers took place 
in Montego Bay in June, 181 1. Their happiness was to 
be short-lived, however, and Margaret was soon to be 
widowed once more, and this time with added responsi- 
bilities. Lieutenant Duffey died on September 30, 181 1, 
of a fever common to the tropics. Six months after his 
death was born the child of this union, Elizabeth, the 
mother of Augustin Daly. 

The principal relic of John Duffey preserved by his 
descendants is his first commission, signed by George HI 
and dated November 19, 1800, making him ensign in a 
regiment of Fenclbles. 

Margaret Duffey, now thirty-one years old, a woman 
of indomitable spirit, set herself to the task of rearing 
this young brood so strangely brought to her nest. She 
was small and slender, with beauty of the Irish type, — fair 
skin, black hair, and dark gray eyes. Elizabeth, her 
youngest child, passed a happy girlhood in one of the 
most beautiful isles of the tropics. Two of her half-sisters 
were soon married — Catherine to William Finchette and 
Mary Ann to John H. Woodgate, both of good families 
from England. Woodgate, of Quaker stock, was an ad- 
venturous youth who had left England to seek his fortune 
in America, and after every variety of adventure finally 
reached New Orleans in time to hire as a deck-hand on 


a sloop bound for Montego Bay, where his older brother 
had settled some years before. John was reduced on 
landing to the simple outfit of trousers and shirt, and 
when his brother Edward, advised of his arrival, cantered 
down to the dock on his chestnut horse, he beheld a prodi- 
gal in appearance if not in repentance. He took the youth 
home and set him up in business, and in an incredibly 
brief space John was the owner of the handsomest resi- 
dence in the town. 

West Indian society was then enjoying its best days. 
The theatre was a favorite recreation, not to be indulged 
in, however, except when travelling companies from Eng- 
land crossed the mountains. They were hospitably enter- 
tained by the residents. Among those actors who visited 
the DufTeys were John Bernard (author of a book of 
memoirs) and William Rufus Blake, afterwards a favorite 
in New York. As we remember him he was immensely 
corpulent — but in the Jamaica days he was "the slim- 
mest and gracefullest" of light-comedy juveniles. 

The fatal negro insurrection occurred in Elizabeth's 
girlhood. It was due to the fact that the anti-slavery 
agitation in the mother country, which led to the aboli- 
tion of the merciless slave trade, was not followed by 
emancipation in the colonies. The traffic in slaves had 
brought to Jamaica in less than a century over six hun- 
dred thousand blacks. Their condition varied with cir- 
cumstances. The coal-black African cultivated the fields, 
or worked at trades or as a day laborer. His descend- 
ants of various colors were usually domestic servants. 
Slaves were hired, and had to be returned in good con- 
dition by the lessees at the end of the term. For 
negligence or obstinacy men and women were sent by 
their employers to the jail to be whipped, private punish- 
ment not being permitted. Many of the poor creatures, 


who knew the kind heart of EHzabeth, stopped on the way 
to punishment to implore her intercession, and the young 
girl was always ready to put on her hat and go to the 
offended master or mistress upon those errands of mercy. 
She was never unsuccessful. It was not always an easy 
task. Some of the slaves were chronic insubordinates, 
for whom it required much tact to plead. 

Another phase of racial Hfe in the island was presented 
by the free women of color, the children of planters, 
manumitted by their fathers and left in many instances 
with considerable means. They were often sent abroad 
for accomplishments which they could use if need were 
for their support. Many of them were hardly to be 
distinguished from white. Some formed voluntary con- 
nections with wealthy bachelors ; but many were distin- 
guished for high principles and strict morality, and those 
with means often developed fine traits of benevolence in 
emulation of the white ladies of the colony. The latter 
formed a community of high-minded and strict-living 

The changed conditions that resulted from the eman- 
cipation of the slaves (which followed the insurrection) 
drove many business men to the United States, — among 
them Mr. Woodgate. He brought with him Thomas, 
a boy of pure African descent, born of slaves, Mrs. 
Woodgate was no sooner settled in New York than she 
wrote to her stepmother, pressing her to come with Eliza- 
beth and a granddaughter Margaret, child of the Fin- 
chettes, who were dead. Death had severed nearly every 
other tie on the island. These bereavements inclined 
Mrs. Duffey to join the Woodgates in New York. Twice 
was passage engaged in vessels touching at Montego 
Bay, and each time an accident prevented their sailing. 
It was then late in the season, and the hope of passage by 


another vessel was given up. The brig Victor, however, 
commanded by Captain Denis Daly, unexpectedly arrived 
at Falmouth. Elizabeth was visiting friends there when 
Captain Daly called and met her. He wrote immediately 
to Mrs. Duffey that he would stop with his vessel for her 
at Montego Bay. No accident now prevented the em- 
barking, and the family was brought to New York. 
There the marriage of Elizabeth and Captain Daly took 
place at the Woodgates' house in Grand Street, near Essex, 
on July 31, 1834. 

Captain Daly was born near Limerick, Ireland, in 
1797. His father Michael Daly, who was what was called 
a gentleman farmer, gave his children a good education 
and procured for Denis at an early age the place of purser's 
clerk in the British navy. This determined the young 
man's career, and when he shortly after resigned from that 
post and received his portion from his father, he came to 
America, invested his means in building the Victor, and 
commenced trade on the American coast and in the West 
Indies. He is described as tall and of powerful physique. 
His adventurous disposition and fearlessness were in- 
herited to the full by my brother, who was one of the 
most physically courageous men I ever knew. 

Immediately after the wedding the bride sailed with 
her husband for the West Indies. On their way back her 
illness compelled them to put in to Norfolk. Not long 
afterwards the Victor was lost in shipwreck, uninsured, 
and was replaced by the brig William. In 1838 Captain 
Daly established himself in the lumber business at Plym- 
outh, North Carolina, acquiring the Armistead property, 
consisting of residence, warehouse, and wharf. There 
his elder son Augustin was born on July 20, 1838, a sister 
(who died young) having been born in Norfolk in 1836. 
Captain Daly now intrusted the vessels he chartered to 


other sailing masters; but in September, 1841, when the 
Union was ready for sea with a cargo, her commander 
fell ill, and Captain Daly, not to delay her sailing, took 
up his old station on the quarter-deck. Our mother never 
forgot his leaving home. He had the sailor's superstition 
about formal leave-takings, and she watched him walk 
up and down with his younger son in his arms, lay him 
in his cradle, and softly leave the house. Three weeks 
later a letter arrived telling of his death. It came from 
Captain Pike, of Ocracoke, a small settlement at the inlet 
of the same name, south of Cape Hatteras and situated 
upon the long sandy breastwork which forms the Atlantic 
coast of North Carolina, and separates the waste of ocean 
from the inner waters known as Pamlico and Albemarle 
sounds. When detained by adverse winds or calms, quite 
a fleet of outward-bound vessels collects at the inlet. 
The coast had an evil reputation for wreckers, and many 
stories were told of vessels lured on the breakers by false 
lights fastened to horses which were led up and down the 

Upon receipt of the distressing communication our 
mother hastily left for Ocracoke, taking with her a captain 
and two seamen for the Union, as she was advised would 
be necessary. She set out with her infant son and a 
nurse, by coach, at four in the morning, for Little Wash- 
ington on Pamlico Sound, found a sloop ready to sail to 
Ocracoke, and reached it the same day. Captain Pike 
and his wife showed her every attention and gave her 
full particulars of all that had taken place. It was owing 
to light winds and calms that Captain Daly was three 
weeks in reaching Ocracoke from Plymouth. When his 
vessel arrived at the inlet he was found prostrated with 
fever, and was taken ashore. Doctor Dudley of Ports- 
mouth, twelve miles distant, was sent for, but could not 


save him. He was interred in a plot set apart for burials 
in Captain Pike's garden. The ravages of wind and wave 
have devoured the shore line and buried the little cemetery 
beneath the waters of the Sound. 

Our mother returned to Plymouth, tried to put her 
husband's affairs in shape, and then removed to Norfolk. 
The administration in Plymouth was very disappointing, 
and the disheartened widow conceived a distaste for the 
law that well-nigh prevented, in after years, my enter- 
ing that worthy profession. Augustin and I were placed 
at school with a pedagogue of English extraction and 
formidable aspect, one John Primrose Scott, who had 
married an old friend of my mother. 

One of the important structures in Norfolk was the 
Avon Theatre, visited by all the first-rate travelling 
companies. There my brother and I saw our first theatri- 
cal performance. Of theatres we had never heard until a 
friend came over from Portsmouth with tickets for the 
play. Both boys were then away from home in different 
parts of the town and were hastily sent for. I was the 
only one reached in time, and great was the outcry of the 
elder at his disappointment when he got home just as we 
were setting out — myself, aged seven, in all the elegance 
of a white tunic and trousers, with a shiny black belt, 
and a bouquet in hand. I endeavored to comfort him 
with the philosophy usually applied on such occasions, 
but he only howled the louder and secluded himself in a 
closet. When we returned, grandmother described with 
much pride how resigned he at last became, and how he 
went to bed very quietly. He was warmly praised. 
Within a week it became his turn to go to the play and 
mine sadly to apply the philosophy. I expected to hear 
next morning that I had gone to bed quietly and resignedly 
too. No such statement was forthcoming, and I ven- 


tured to present the fact myself, but without attract- 
ing notice. 

Augustin and I next day fell to comparing notes on the 
marvels we had witnessed. I had seen "Macbeth" with 
James E. Murdoch and Mrs. Russell (afterwards Mrs. 
John Hoey) in the leading parts. Augustin had seen 
"Rookwood," with Murdoch as the dashing highwayman 
Dick Turpin, and his vivid description of that thrilling 
adaptation of Ainsworth's novel convinced me that he had 
had the best of it; for all that I distinctly remembered 
of my play was Lady Macbeth in a nightgown with a 
chamber candlestick, beckoning the audience "to bed" — 
a recommendation too suggestive to be relished by a small 
boy sitting up for the first time. His experience aroused 
in Augustin at once the spirit of the theatre. He devised 
performances in our woodhouse, to the satisfaction of our 
small neighbors. 

It was a year after this that our Aunt Woodgate suc- 
ceeded in persuading her sister Elizabeth to come to 
New York with her family. "You must feel, Betsy," she 
wrote, "that this city is the only place for a widow, with 
boys who have to make their way in the world !" 


Public school pupil. Enlists for the battle of life. Night school. 
Amateur dramatic societies. Some well-known members. Loca- 
tion of these little theatres. Maternal solicitude and precaution. 
Augustin not an actor. A boyish Julius Caesar. Scene-painting 
doubled with Mark Antony. Low condition of New York play- 
houses. Vile upper tiers. The stage and the actors. Talented 
drunkards. A boy's experience. Fourth of July. The Bowery 
pit. Junius Brutus Booth in " Richard III " drives Richmond off 
Bosworth Field. The Astor Place riot. "Ned Buntline" and 
his sentence. A childish witness of the fray. Forrest on Ma- 
cready. Respect for the drama in New York. Theatres pro- 
vincial. All but two keep actors in stock to support stars. The 
Daly boys are taken to the theatre. The six theatres of the 
metropolis. Barnum and his lecture room. His ups and downs. 
A little game of "human wreck." Bills of the play and what 
they contained. Adah Isaac Menken. The Ravels. The Rev- 
olutionary drama. Enchantment of Castle Garden. 

Augustin attended for a brief season the public school 
in Broome Street, New York, presided over by the late 
James Dewitt — one of the first schools organized under 
the new department of education, the successor of the 
old Public School Society. Among his schoolmates was 
John H. V. Arnold, afterwards Surrogate of New York, 
and a great collector of works on the drama and early 
New York history. Our mother, with firm independence, 
would accept no aid from her relatives in rearing her 
children, and in order to add to her diminishing resources 
took special lessons in sewing in order to earn money to 
keep her sons at school. Augustin was, however, anxious' 
to begin the battle of life. He became clerk in one 
concern after another, and attended night school as well. 


At this period the theatrical inclinations of the youth 
of New York found encouragement in amateur societies, 
usually named after celebrated actors, which gave per- 
formances in little theatres in the upper stories of com- 
mercial buildings. The "Murdoch Association" met in 
Crosby Street; the "Burton" in a room near the theatre 
in Chambers Street; and the "John R. Scott Association" 
usually performed in Humor Hall, a third-story opera- 
house in Houston Street fitted up by German amateurs. 

These associations were nurseries which graduated 
many celebrities. F. F. Mackay belonged to the "Mur- 
doch." It was the rule of these societies that each mem- 
ber was to have his night, for which he was to choose 
his own play and his own part in it and be loyally sup- 
ported by his associates. When young Mackay had his 
night, he was supported by George C. Boniface, William 
J. Florence, and Maggie Mitchell, — all stars in later 

Towards one or more of these amateur societies did 
Augustin naturally incline, greatly to the distress of 
our dear mother, who always required me to go with him 
and supply the companionship needed in boyhood. 
Hence we were constantly together at night, went every- 
where, and saw pretty much everything. His joining 
the dramatic associations was not, I can testify, due to 
any wish of appearing on the stage. It was owing, I 
can see now, to a haunting desire to become familiar with 
management. He was absolutely without ambition to 
act. I do not recall his ever playing a part except twice, 
once to be mentioned in the next chapter, and once in a 
small literary society when he took the part of Julius 
'CcEsar. He managed the production, and set me to work 
to paint the scenery, which I cheerfully undertook with- 
out any previous experience. To be sure he also cast me 


for the responsible part of Mark Antony^ but I know that 
in his opinion my success was on that occasion achieved 
as scenic artist. As for his impersonation of Julius Casar, 
I think that with his classic robes and his strikingly hand- 
some features, a more agreeable boyish figure was never 
seen upon any stage. 

The dread of contamination from too close association 
with things theatrical, which my mother in common with 
many other good people felt in that day, was excusable 
for more than one reason. Theatrical management was 
then precarious, and places of amusement were open to 
grave objections. The playhouse deserved the hard 
things that were said about it. In every theatre there 
was an upper tier with a bar, where strong drinks were 
supplied and (in some houses) where the profligate of both 
sexes resorted. To be sure there was no necessity for the 
patrons of the family circle or the boxes to come in contact 
with such visitors, as the bad company was confined to 
the upper and cheaper parts of the house, — the "shilling 
gallery," admission to which was twelve and a half cents 
(there was a coin of that value in those days) ; but it 
was natural to fear that to that part of the house young 
men bent upon seeing life would be tempted, for access 
to it was open. 

The actor shared the uncertainties of the manager; 
salaries were small and sometimes irregular. And the 
player too often was more convivial than ambitious. 
After the performance he resorted to taverns and coffee- 
houses (all well known and respectable enough) and 
entertained the patrons of the theatre (all well known and 
respected too), and there until the early hours he discussed 
the glories of the stage and many tobies of strong ale. 
He was not then the conservative and prosperous capi- 
talist that he is to-day. Several causes combined to lower 


his self-respect, and it was not increased by the pubHc 
sentiment which condoned his faihngs, and tolerated the 
upper circle of the playhouse with its bar. It was the day 
of the "talented drunkard," the ban of managers and the 
cause of annoyance and disappointment to the public. 
It was owing to the impression made upon my brother's 
mind by the conditions existing in his youth that he 
instituted reforms in every direction when he opened his 
first theatre. Led by his forceful spirit, a succession of 
laudable followers helped to preserve his standards for 
the playhouse and the profession. 

Judge Charles P. Daly used to relate an experience 
of his own when Junius Brutus Booth was in his prime, 
and any announcement of his engagement drew crowds 
willing to risk the possibility of disappointment from his 
well-known convivial habits. It was a Fourth of July, 
and Charles had saved up his pocket money for fire- 
crackers, gunpowder, and a pit ticket for the Bowery 
to see the great Booth as Richard III. The gunpowder 
and crackers, alas ! were wasted ; for when he awoke, 
as he thought, at daybreak, and hurried to the Hoboken 
Ferry to take the boat for the general holiday resort, the 
Elysian Fields, he saw to his astonishment crowds re- 
turning instead of going, and found that he had waked in 
the evening instead of the morning twilight ! But the 
glories of the night were still to be enjoyed, and he 
hastened back to the theatre, where the doors were to be 
opened at half past six and the performance was to com- 
mence at seven, according to the early habits of those 
days. To his dismay the pit was already packed with 
men standing several deep at the back and preventing the 
least view of the stage by a late comer, especially a small 
boy. Observing his predicament, however, the good- 
natured men in front of him lifted him over their heads 


and passed him along from hand to hand to the patrons 
of the crowded front rows, who then deposited him on the 
stage. This expedient was soon followed with the re- 
maining small boys in the pit, and they were all safely 
huddled in corners of the "float," a space which in those 
days projected several feet in front of the curtain. Here 
the youngsters watched the malignant, crook-backed 
tyrant dispose of the rival Plantagenets, order Buckingham 
to execution, and ultimately, in defiance of history, chase 
Richmond off the field — for it happened to be one of 
those occasions when Booth was more than ordinarily 
full of inspiration. The luckless Richmond on that night 
was actually pursued down the back stairs, out of the 
back door, and into the street, and finally saved himself 
by taking refuge in a convenient passage. 

The conditions referred to above were not alone what 
then affected a large part of the community unfavorably 
towards the theatre. Just before we came to the city 
occurred the Astor Place Opera House riot, growing out of 
the partisanship of admirers of the eminent English actor, 
Macready, and of the popular Edwin Forrest. Newspaper 
articles on both sides of the Atlantic, injudicious speeches 
by Macready from the stage, injurious replies published 
by Forrest, inflammatory articles in a weekly called Ned 
Buntline^s Own, written by the publisher, Judson, and, on 
the occasion of a farewell engagement of Macready at the 
Opera House, a canard that the officers and crew of a 
British vessel in the harbor were to land for his protection 
— all this led to a mob marching on the theatre to wreck 
it, the calling out of the militia, and a fierce encounter 
in which the soldiers had to fight for their own lives, 
resulting in the killing of twenty-three persons and the 
wounding of twenty-two. The ringleader Judson (or 
"Ned Buntline," as he called himself), with other of the 


rioters, was indicted, tried, and found guilty. Judson, 
the instigator of the fray by appeal in his paper to "pa- 
triotism," very properly received the utmost punishment 
for the offence (rioting) for which he was indicted — 
namely, a year's imprisonment and a fine. To the claims 
for consideration made in his behalf on the score of his 
services to his country (he had been formerly in the navy) 
and of his alleged breeding as a gentleman and a scholar, 
the district attorney, John McKeon, retorted that whatever 
he had once been, he was now one of the proprietors "of 
a vile newspaper — a beast of prey hanging on the great 
camp of humanity and living on the carrion of blasted 
character and vice." It was significantly observed also 
that whereas all the other prisoners had offered proof of 
previous good character in mitigation of their offence, 
Judson did not venture to do so. 

F. F. Mackay, then a boy, was on the north side of 
Astor Place with a young friend who had come with him, 
as boys will, to see the row. When the firing began, a 
man standing by them exclaimed, "That's no blank car- 
tridge," and seizing little Mackay, tossed him over the 
railing and into the area below. When Mackay got out 
again, he found that his boy companion had been shot. 
Mackay years afterwards frequently supported Forrest in 
star engagements. When Forrest last played in Boston, 
a chair was placed in the wings to save him the fatigue of 
going to his dressing-room after each scene. He used to 
make Mackay sit with him, and one night the latter told 
him of the news from England that Macready was dead. 
Forrest uttered an exclamation and raised his hands and 
eyes, then said in a strong voice : "The greatest artist 
of them all ! In ten years there will be no one to read 
Shakespeare!" Mackay suggested that there remained 
Phelps, then a deserved favorite of the London stage. 


"Phelps is an old man," answered Forrest, and repeated, 
"In ten years there will be no one to read Shakespeare !" 

Respect for the drama in civilized communities is too 
deeply seated to be destroyed by adventitious circum- 
stances. The theatre was a favorite recreation with the 
most intelligent circles of New York. But the city was 
then served somewhat like an English provincial town. 
Its theatres, with two exceptions, were maintained for the 
accommodation of travelling stars who appeared season 
after season with the regularity of the winter constella- 
tions. For their convenience stock companies were 
maintained like stock scenery. Burton's and Wallack's 
were the exceptions. 

Our good Aunt and Uncle Woodgate were fond of the 
theatre and took us there often. Besides Burton's ^ and 
Wallack's,^ there were Niblo's,^ the Broadway,^ the 
Bowery,^ and the National.^ In these places the ballet 
was modestly clothed and the only " problem " play was the 
antiquated "Stranger." There was one place to which 
small boys and girls were allowed to go as matter of course. 
This was Barnum's Museum,^ comprising three floors of 
curiosities, and a "lecture room" fitted up marvellously 
like a theatre, but to which persons having a prejudice 
against playhouses might resort without misgivings. It 
was a profitable concern, but Barnum happened to back 
a New England Clock Company too heavily and failed. 
The story of how he recovered is characteristic. His 
creditors were visited in turn by a sympathetic friend, 
leading a human wreck. The human wreck was Barnum. 
The eloquent friend persuaded the creditors to sign off 

' Chambers Street. ■• Near Worth Street. 

^ Near Broome Street. * Still standing. 

' Near Prince Street. • Chatham Street. 

^ Near Grand Street. 

Ai'GL'STiN Daly 
About 1854 


for fifty cents on the dollar. This accomplished, Barnum 
— washed, shaved, and faultlessly dressed — presided 
once more over his museum. One creditor, however, had 
taken the precaution to add, "on condition that Mr. Bar- 
num will not be able to pay any more." He got his 

As Augustin grew in years, his favorite theatres were 
Wallack's and Burton's, where real theatrical companies 
were maintained, and in which (at Wallack's, especially) 
Shakespearian comedy, old plays and new ones were 
presented with scenery and costumes specially prepared 
for each revival. Here Daly learned his art. 

What bills of the play there were in those days ! Such 
a night's entertainment is unknown in these degenerate 
times. A five-act tragedy, then a pas seul by a favorite 
danseuse, perhaps a comic song, and the whole to conclude 
with a rattling farce or a gorgeous extravaganza ; the 
pas seul at the Bowery or the National by Miss Gertrude 
Dawes amid the shouts of the boys, and at Wallack's by 
Miss Malvina Pray, who was soon to become Mrs. W. J. 
Florence and to dance through a hundred parts, from 
Yankee Gal to Mrs. Gilflory. The bills of the play were 
real bills of the play — none of your latter-day "pro- 
grammes" with columns of chit-chat and newsy para- 
graphs edited by a literary person with scissors and paste, 
or, worse still, the modern abomination of thirty-two pages 
containing, to the few crumbs of information about the 
play, an intolerable deal of advertisements. They were 
good generous bills of the play, a yard long, but known as 
the "small bills" — to which the public was referred by 
the advertisements, for "particulars." 

And what freaks of ambition did the bills of the play 
disclose ! A tight-rope dancer (his full name ought to 
be known — John Milton Hengler) essaying the character 


of Hamlet, and, as it appears, for one night only ! And 
Lola Montez, deserting a royal admirer to court the 
sovereign public, but without a qualification for the stage 
unless it were notoriety, essaying the role of danseuse (she 
could not dance) ; then of actress (she could not act) in a 
play "written expressly for her by Mr. C. P. T. Ware," 
a poor little hack playwright who wrote anything for 
anybody — and making a complete failure in all. 

And how the inky blackness of the bills of the play is 
illumined by strange meteors that flashed for their brief 
moment and were gone ! Here is the singular Hebrew 
star, Adah Isaacs Menken, ambitious to be poet as well as 
actress, who has left some memories of herself as Mazeppa 
bound to a trained steed, some accounts of adventures in 
foreign lands, and a book of verse, "Infelicia," dedicated 
to Charles Dickens. Here the bills show fairyland — 
Niblo's Garden with the Ravel pantomimists — and here 
the Revolutionary drama, a favorite entertainment when 
our country was young, in which one Yankee easily 
whipped half a dozen Britishers, and George Washington 
always appeared with red fire, in a final tableau ; and here 
a real scene of enchantment — the opera at Castle Garden, 
where the audiences between the acts strolled out on the 
balconies to watch the moonbeams dance with the waters 
of the bay. 


Theatre in a back yard. First attempt of a dramatist unknown to 
fame. A boy's paper. First attempt at management in public. 
The Melville Troupe in Brooklyn. Incidental account of the 
attempt to establish the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Objec- 
tions to a curtain. Daly tackles the early Brooklyn public. 
Home-made poster. Varied entertainment announced. Unselfish- 
ness of the confederates. "Costumes by Mr. Harry Seymour." 
"Music by orchestra of six pieces." Young ladies engaged. Cast 
of characters. Division of glory. Sefton to be Toodles. Troubles 
of the manager. No money for costumes. Seymour adapts him- 
self to circumstances. German band succumbs. The last quar- 
ter. Performance perfect except for one stage wait. Porter in 
" Macbeth " downstairs arguing with the band. Banquo as Porter. 
Macduf*s peril. All's well. The Melville Troupe fulfills its 
promise to the public. Charles Mathews. Augustin determines 
to become a journalist. 

No sooner did the small boy Augustin feel himself at 
home in New York than he set up a theatre in the rather 
confined back yard of our house in Ridge Street. He 
gathered the admiring urchins of the neighborhood 
together for his company, and after fitting up the stage 
and announcing the opening, it suddenly occurred to 
him that he had no play. "That's all right," spoke up 
the oldest boy present, "I'll write one." I forget that 
boy's name — It ought to be remembered because he was 
one of those who "do things." He called for pen. Ink, 
and paper, which being promptly furnished, together 
with a barrel head to write upon, he spread the sheet of 
foolscap and Instantly plunged Into the throes of composi- 
tion ; we saw with wondering eyes the lines flow from his 
pen : 



"The Debt. 
A Play. 

Act I, Scene i. Interior of an inn. Enter Gentleman." 

And then he stopped. For what reason he stopped I 
cannot say, but he never penned another line of that 
play. He may, in after years, have grown to be a very 
useful citizen, but I am firmly convinced that we then and 
there witnessed his whole career as a dramatist. 

With Augustin's predilection for the theatre went a 
fondness for journalism, and he began, with boyish friends 
of similar proclivities, a weekly story paper in manu- 
script. J. H. V. Arnold was one of the editors. Each 
number was to be controlled by a different person, whose 
production was to be freely criticised in the following 
issue. Whatever may have been the merits of those 
productions, there was no question as to the roundness, 
fulness, and searching quality of the criticisms. It was 
not a bad beginning for the career of a future dramatic 

As he grew, his ideas enlarged. Having encouraged 
his brother to put on paper a farce in one act, "A Bach- 
elor's Wardrobe," an effort wholly original and boyish, 
an appointment was secured with the great Burton him- 
self, then ^ the manager of the new Metropolitan Theatre.^ 
Nothing could exceed the graciousness of the veteran's 
reception of the youthful visitor. He promised to give 
the play a reading. It was returned without loss of time, 
accompanied by a note pointing out its unsuitableness for 
production, but adding that it evinced a sense of humor 
that gave promise for the future. 

> 1856. 

* Broadway opposite Bond Street. 


Immediately after this, Augustin, mere lad that he was, 
conceived the incredible idea of hiring a real theatre for 
one night and giving a genuine public performance. 
The only real theatre which at that time could be engaged 
by a manager of limited means — say pocket money to a 
small amount — was, of all places in the world, in the city 
of Brooklyn. In the year a.d. 1856 Brooklyn had but one 
theatre, and that was on the third floor of a building on 
the corner of Fulton and Orange streets, for Brooklyn was 
widely known as the City of Churches, and its residents 
preferred to cross the ferry when they sought recreation 
of a worldly character. It was not until a year or two after 
the event which we are about to describe that the best 
people reluctantly consented to countenance the erection 
of a playhouse in their serious borough, and even then they 
compromised by calling it an Academy of Music. Nor 
was this project completed without strange internal con- 
vulsions in the Building Committee, principally over the 
questions of stage and scenery. When these and foot- 
lights were conceded to advanced sentiment, a firm stand 
was made against a curtain. "A curtain," as I heard one 
grave citizen argue, "is intended to conceal something, 
and concealment suggests impropriety. " It was neces- 
sary to explain to him that stage plays were usually divided 
into sections commonly called "acts," and that the curtain 
was lowered simply to mark the intervals ; also that it 
was highly advantageous to screen the preparation of the 
different scenes, and then to display them as a whole by 
the raising of the curtain. Many instances were adduced 
and authorities appealed to In substantiation of these 
arguments, which were ultimately supported by the 
personal recollections of some of the older inhabitants, — 
the younger prudently held their peace, — and finally a 
complete playhouse was established and the ice was 


broken ; so that now Brooklyn has become a city of 
theatres as well as churches, and no harm done. 

At the period of destitution when Brooklyn boasted 
the solitary third-story playhouse first mentioned, the 
vicinity of that temple of Momus was suddenly irradiated 
by a gorgeous poster (hand-painted), announcing that 
"The Melville Troupe of Juvenile Comedians," on their 
way from Canada to the Southern States, would give a 
performance for one night only in the city of Brooklyn, 
and would present a varied bill of attractions commencing 
with the screaming farce of " Poor Pillicoddy," followed 
by the second act of Shakespeare's sublime tragedy of 
"Macbeth " ; after which a comic song would be given by 
Master William Melville, the whole to conclude with 
the celebrated drama in two acts entitled "Toodles," in 
which the aforesaid Master William Melville would enact 
his famous impersonation of Mr. Toodles. 

Thus was heralded to the world the first effort in pub- 
lic management of the distinguished theatrical director 
of a later day. The whole scheme was his invention. He 
was then eighteen, and his confederates, all former school- 
mates, were mostly younger. He had no money ; nobody 
had any money sufficient to pay the expenses of an under- 
taking which included rent of theatre and hire of musicians 
and costumes. With perfect honesty the young manager 
expected to meet them with the receipts of the perform- 
ance, which were to be sacredly devoted to the purpose. 
None of the boy associates was to receive a penny — the 
glory of acting was to be ample compensation. Not even 
the attaches in front of the house were to be paid ; they 
were all confederates, and, so far as the doorkeeper and 
ushers went, were to be rewarded by being permitted to look 
at the performance. Difficulty, it is true, was experienced 
with the ticket-seller and treasurer, whose station was one 


flight down from the auditorium. A compromise, however, 
was efl"ected with him. After he judged that the demand 
for tickets had ceased he was to come up and see the play. 
This he did, and it is highly creditable to the honesty of 
the people of Brooklyn that no one attempted to effect 
a surreptitious entrance. A number — not a very great 
number — of persons, when the doors were opened, did 
actually pay to come in, but no one attempted to enter 
without paying. Those who had no intention of paying 
had no intention of coming. 

The costumes for the three plays were engaged from 
the emporium of Mr. Harry Seymour, a big-hearted 
ex-actor who kept his establishment in Canal Street. 
The music was to be furnished by an orchestra of six pieces 
under a leader, an honest German, found I don't know 
where. Both these purveyors were to be paid in advance 
on their appearance at the theatre. It was supposed that 
the receipts of course would be ample for the purpose, 
since the music was to cost about ten dollars and the 
costumes eight ; and with rent about twenty-five more, 
the prospect of a handsome profit was undeniable. This 
hope satisfied also the young ladies who were engaged for 
Lady Macbeth, Mrs. Toodles, and the other female char- 
acters of the bill, at a small salary. They were young and 
ambitious, and were easily found by advertising for ladies 
desirous of joining a juvenile troupe. What the stage- 
struck damsels thought when waited upon by the youthful 
manager and his equally boyish assistants to discuss the 
terms of the engagement, I do not know ; but engage 
they did with great good-will, and they entered into 
the spirit of the enterprise, took their chances of getting 
any salary, and loyally did their best to be Melville sisters 
and to see the thing through, with a devotion which might 
have been inspired by the vanity of figuring on the stage, 


but which, I am sure, was all hearty, womanly, and good. 

The rehearsals for this performance were held in a room 
in the old Gothic Hall on Broadway, opposite the former 
site of the New York Hospital. The programme was 
arranged by the manager to give the genius of the young 
Melvilles ample scope for display. Macbeth was to be 
enacted by Charles Melville {ne Jacobson, an ambitious, 
dark-haired lad who afterwards joined Wallack's Com- 
pany), and, as before stated. Master William Melville 
(Sefton) was to convulse with his inimitable Toodles. 
He had done it several times at private parties, and it 
was immensely if restrictedly popular. From the very 
beginning the young manager was to taste all the bitter- 
sweets of management. Not only did he undertake the 
engagement of theatre, music, costumes, female stars, and 
the innumerable other details of his project single-handed, 
with rehearsals to manage in addition, but he had to en- 
counter insubordination and dissatisfaction in his troupe, 
one or two young gentlemen throwing up their parts and 
having to be pursued and placated on street corners. 

At length the eventful night saw everything prepared. 
The auditorium, brilliant with lights, awaited the specta- 
tors. These poured in until the total takings at the box- 
office reached the sum of eleven dollars and seventy-iive 
cents. This, with all the Melville family's private re- 
sources, was immediately turned over to the landlord, 
who had the first claim and whose payment left in the 
managerial pocket a surplus of twenty-five cents. When 
Seymour arrived in the green room (on the lower floor) 
with a huge trunk of costumes, he was compelled to listen 
to excuses. His first impulse was to sit on the lid of his 
trunk, and his next to depart with his goods. Ultimately, 
finding himself confronted by a condition not perhaps un- 
familiar to an old actor, and recalling his own golden days. 


he relented, opened his treasures, and soon had the Mel- 
ville Troupe arrayed in their stage finery. 

This ordeal gone through, worse remained. The 
German band arrived and filled the passage with their 
portly forms and instruments, and waited, as was their 
custom, for their leader to announce that the pecuniary 
obligations of the management had been met. The 
animated colloquy (unaccompanied by any show of 
money) which took place between the high contracting 
parties soon, however, excited fears not perhaps foreign 
to their stolid breasts. The dilemma of the Melvilles 
was imparted to them by their leader, who, after a short 
conference with them, announced their decision to return 
home, and their simple request that at least the cost of 
their passage back over the ferry might be forthcoming. 
The disconsolate manager, with a rapid mental calculation 
as to the expense of transporting eight Germans at three 
cents apiece, produced his solitary remaining quarter. 
The leader took it, looked at it with fine disdain, and then 
without another word sent it ringing down the corridor. 
Another conference with his band followed, and he then 
announced that if the management would pledge itself 
to turn over to them everything thereafter received at the 
doors, they would go on. Gladly giving this assurance, 
the manager joyfully beheld them unpack, tune up, 
ascend the stairs to the orchestra, and soon after burst 
into a melodious overture as advertised in the bills. 

The plays were a huge success, with trifling accidents 
not worth mentioning in estimating the performance as 
a whole. The company, oblivious, as is ever the case, to 
the distresses of the management, and dead letter perfect 
in their parts, rattled off their lines with the utmost 
confidence. It is true that there was a considerable stage 
wait when the Porter in "Macbeth" ought to have 


responded to Macduff^ s knocking at the gate, for no less 
a person than the manager himself had been cast for the 
Porter, and he was then downstairs, for the twentieth 
time responding to the inquiries of the band and assuring 
them that no more money had been acquired from any 
source — even the quarter after diligent search had not 
been recovered ; he was therefore too busy persuading 
them to return to their posts to think of his own. Mean- 
while the knocking of Macduff (played by Master William 
Melville, content thus to support the Macbeth of Mr. 
Charles Melville in consideration of similar favors to be 
rendered to his Toodles) became so embarrassing that 
Banquo, supposedly retired to rest as required by the play, 
set out to look for the Porter, found him at a crisis with 
his exigent creditors, and received the order: "Go on 
yourself." This Banquo boldly did. He was received 
by the audience without surprise, the din Macduff was 
keeping up at door C being considered sufficient to rouse 
the whole castle. Not being up in the soliloquy of the 
Porter, Banquo simply strode to the portal and, with be- 
coming loftiness of gesture, flung it open. Unfortunately, 
he did not anticipate that the noble Macduff, wondering at 
the delay, might be applying his eye to the crack to look 
for the cause of it, and would be likely to receive the 
swinging portal full on the nose — which in fact he did, 
and appeared wholly disconcerted by the violence of his 

After that, however, everything went smoothly. 
Toodles, notwithstanding his mishap, was in excellent 
form, and his fooling was greatly enjoyed. The inter- 
preters of Bach and Beethoven having finally lapsed into 
hopeless apathy, worried the manager no more, but played 
to the end, even trying to accompany Master William 
Melville in his comic song, with the disadvantages of no 


score and no rehearsal. The happy manager, thus re- 
lieved from carking care, plunged into the part of George 
Acorn^ which he played with great fervor. Good Hafry 
Seymour became so interested in the whole boyish adven- 
ture — unique in even his vast and varied experience — 
that I verily believe he would have paid eight dollars 
rather than not be there to see, and to have ever after 
the pleasure of relating what he had seen. The young 
ladies, who were cheerful and helpful to the end, were 
gallantly escorted to their homes by some of the young 
Thespians, but I doubt if they ever fully recovered from 
their bewilderment. As for the manager, having given 
the performance as announced and kept faith with his 
public to the letter, overcome every difficulty, and helped 
the carpenters to set the scenes and clear the stage in 
the intervals of hypnotizing the band and the costumer, 
he beamed on every one, distributed his commendations 
unsparingly, and went home with me triumphant, to act 
over again in our talks with the boys for many a day the 
varied incidents of what must go down in history as his 
first public attempt at management. 

The next year (1857) his experience of dramatic art 
was immensely enlarged by witnessing the greatest light 
comedian of his own or any time, Charles Mathews, upon 
his return to America. He appeared at the Broadway 
Theatre, and to his first night we went in company with 
the future Surrogate, and literally fought our way through 
a vast crowd. No watchful policeman kept the crowd in 
line at the box-ofllice in those days. Three or four fists 
grasping money were thrust at one time through the tiny 
aperture in the boarded window. An invisible hand 
within grasped the fists in turn and released the money 
from the fingers, which would then indicate the number of 
tickets required. Tickets and change would by the same 


unseen agent be then enclosed within the expectant fingers, 
and the owner would back away after a terrific struggle, 
and often with serious damage to his wardrobe. On this 
occasion our young friend Arnold, having donned a new 
frock coat, buttoned it up for the melee, and when he got 
to his seat found the garment had been split up the back ! 
But a little thing like that was easily forgotten in the de- 
lights of the most finished impersonations to be seen on the 
stage. Mathews' opening bill was " Married for Money " 
and " Patter vs. Clatter," and the spirit of the star had so 
animated even the most stolid of the stock company 
that every one appeared to brilliant advantage. The 
butterfly comedy of Mathews was a revelation to the new 
generation accustomed to the stateliness of Lester Wallack 
and Jordan. In Flutter ("The Belle's Stratagem") and 
Marplot ("The Busybody") his touch was light as fancy. 
And now (1859) Augustin's purpose in life was to take 
definite and practical shape. With all his love for the 
stage he had not made any attempt to enter that profession 
by the common door; nor did he, in taking the next step 
in his career in another profession, do so with any cer- 
tainty as to where it would lead. When he attached 
himself to journalism, it was with an undefined sense that 
it led to the way he was to go. 


How to become a journalist. And dramatic critic. Daly's first posi- 
tions. The Sunday Courier. Weekly papers of the period. 
Dramatic reviewers. William Winter. Daly's integrity gains 
him appointment to the same post on five New York papers at the 
same time. Tilts between managers and newspapers. Between 
critics and managers. What to avoid in criticism. Perils of 
reporters. The "Draft Riot" of 1863. Daly and Howard in it. 
Howard's ruse. Daly's boldness. Panorama of amusements 
from 1859 to 1869. Wallack's trials. Burton retires. Changes. 
Castle Garden becomes an emigrant depot. Tragic stars. For- 
rest, Davenport, Edwin Booth. Charles Kean. Julia Dean. 
Laura Keene. German stars appear in English. Bandman and 
his phonetics. Mrs. Scheller. Her unfortunate accident as 
Pauline. Mrs. John Wood and Joseph Jefferson. Charles Wynd- 
ham a Civil War veteran. Humpty Dumpty at the Olympic. 
Edwin Booth and " Richelieu " just before the war. Significant lines. 
John S. Clarke in Bob Tyke. George, the Count Joannes. In- 
dicted as a common barrator. William J. Florence and Malvina 
Pray. "Caste." A long memory defeats a lawsuit. John E. 
Owens in "Solon Shingle," a real star performance. Madam 
Celeste. The Black Crook. The Blondes. Isabel Cubas. The 
magicians. The acrobats. French comedy. Artemus Ward. 
Adah Isaacs Menken again. Daly no Bohemian. His work on 
the press. Stuart Robson's letter. Charles Fulton and Conway. 
Italian opera. Its ups and downs. English opera. Daly's plea 
for the strolling player. 

When Daly resolved to enter the profession of journalism, 
he went about it very simply and directly. Putting in 
his pocket the manuscript of a couple of articles he had 
written upon some amusing local incidents, he went down 
to the neighborhood of Printing House Square, where 
newspaper offices abounded. As James Smith, the 
editor of The Sunday Courier, sat in his sanctum preparing 



his next issue, tliere appeared to him a remarkably hand- 
some and ingenuous youth with brilHant eyes and dark 
curUng hair, whose demeanor was modest, notwithstanding 
the burning eagerness with which he announced his 
business. He at once aroused the interest of Smith and 
his associate, Charles F. Briggs, formerly editor of Put- 
narn's Magazine, and a writer of ability. Not long ago 
I heard Parke Godwin, in his reminiscent address at the 
Authors' Club on the occasion of the celebration of his 
eighty-fifth birthday, speak in affectionate and appreci- 
ative terms of Briggs. Another of the proprietors of 
the Courier took an immediate liking to the young scribe. 
This was Douglas Taylor, printer and publisher, a power 
in the political world of his day and a lifelong patron of 
the drama. 

The result of young Daly's visit was his immediate en- 
gagement upon the Courier at a small salary as general 
writer. A few weeks later the post of dramatic critic 
became vacant, and although he was but twenty-one 
years old he was promoted to it. At that date the daily 
newspapers published no Sunday editions, and the rela- 
tion of the Saturday and Sunday journals to the social, 
political, literary, and art worlds was important. Their 
opinions were closely scanned by the interests and indi- 
viduals aflfected. Complaints of bias or neglect were 
not infrequent. One great daily at one time abolished 
its dramatic department and turned over dramatic re- 
views to a succession of reporters from the city editor's 
staff. The weeklies, however, gave their writers pretty 
much a free hand. Robert Holmes, Joseph Howard, 
Edward House, Henry Clapp, Henry Morford, and Morris 
Phillips were as well known when they took their cus- 
tomary places on first nights as their brethren of the great 
dailies, among whom the most prominent were William 


Winter, Edward Wilkins, A. C. Wheeler, Seymour, and 

Into the ranks of dramatic critics was Daly immedi- 
ately thrust. His case was unparalleled, for he had ab- 
solutely no acquaintance with any one connected with the 
stage ; but his reading was extensive and his ideas of art 
definite. His crude and forcible articles over the name 
Le Pelerin soon became noted, and he was complimented 
by the attacks of rivals with whom he rejoiced to break 
a lance. For ten years he pursued this calling, and earned 
such a reputation for honesty that he gradually came to 
be employed at the same time as dramatic critic on the Sun^ 
the Express^ the Citizen, and the Times, always retaining 
his post on the Courier. This also was unexampled. 

During his ten years of journalism he became an in- 
dustrious and successful writer of plays ; but though one 
vocation grew out of the other, I shall keep the account 
of them separate, as both led by separate paths to the 
threshold of theatrical management. At present we have 
to see what befell the dramatic critic. 

That functionary can involve his paper in no end of 
trouble. In Daly's time certain theatrical managers 
organized a boycott of the wealthiest of the daily papers 
on account of the tone of its musical criticisms. The 
Academy of Music led the war, and got all the chief play- 
houses as allies. They took their advertisements away 
from the foe and lavished them upon the other papers. 
This was absurd enough, but not so funny as it was to 
read the praises bestowed by the great daily upon the 
little establishments that stood by it. Reason, however, 
soon resumed its sway, and the quarrel was healed. Soon 
the boot was on the other foot. A querulous critic or- 
ganized his fraternity against one of the principal theatres 
to avenge some personal slight. That campaign did not 


last long, and was not so bitter as the managers' war. 
I remember In the chorus at the Academy when the 
"villagers" in the opera promenaded the stage with a 
figure dressed to represent the proprietor of the great 
daily, with his hand stretched behind him to Indicate an 
"itching palm." 

During Augustln's newspaper experience occurred the 
"Draft Riot" in New York. At the outbreak of the 
Civil War the President asked for seventy-five thousand 
volunteers to preserve the Union. A million offered them- 
selves, only to be dismissed as unnecessary. Two years 
later, in 1863, conscription had to be resorted to, and un- 
til the State at the request of the municipal authorities 
authorized an appropriation for bounties to procure sub- 
stitutes, the administration was exceedingly unpopular 
with the masses who were likely to suffer from the con- 
scription. A short reign of terror commenced in July, 
1863, when the New York City militia had been hurriedly 
sent to protect the Capitol at Washington. Only the 
local police were left to cope with the bands of incendi- 
aries and terrorists that roamed the streets. As may be 
supposed, all the young newspaper men were in the 
thickest of the disturbances, looking for material. In 
company with Joseph Howard, Jr. (then a reporter on the 
Tribune) young Daly found himself surrounded by a 
mob on Second Avenue near a beleaguered fire-engine 
house. Both the journalists wore broad-brimmed black 
soft felt hats of the kind known as "wide-awakes," 
much affected (together with flowing locks) by the 
litterateurs of the period, but unfortunately associated 
in the minds of the mob with a lately defunct anti-foreign 
faction called "Know-Nothings," and with the anti- 
slavery newspapers which were supposed to be responsible 
for the war and all its consequences. 


When therefore our adventurers were descried, the 
mob, which had been threatening the engine-house after 
looting and burning in every direction, shouted "Know- 
Nothings!" "Tribune reporters!" Howard, who was 
a resourceful youth, sought to pacify the crowd by ex- 
plaining that he was simply deputized by Ben Wood of 
the News to give that friendly paper a truthful version of 
the facts. As Mr. Benjamin Wood and his paper, the 
Daily News, were known Southern sympathizers, it was 
an ingenious fib ; but the mob derided the speaker, and 
might soon have made an end of both young men if the 
members of the fire company had not sallied from their 
house, dragged the imperilled youths inside, and locked 
the doors. This act redoubled the rage of the mob against 
the rescuers. Ordinarily the gallant volunteer fire de- 
partment was the most popular institution in the City, 
but now the mob resented the zeal of the department in 
rushing to extinguish the incendiary fires that sprang 
up in every quarter. The door of the engine-house 
threatened to give way. My brother, preferring to be 
killed in the open rather than slaughtered like a rat in a 
hole, insisted upon being let out. His generous captors, 
with much misgiving, but yielding to his commands, 
opened the door sufficiently to thrust him forth, and 
instantly closed and locked it again — but unfortunately 
with the tail of his coat caught fast by it ! This acci- 
dent turned out to be his salvation ; for when he im- 
mediately turned and hammered at the door to be re- 
leased, the nearest mob leaders mistook his act, coupled 
with his expulsion, as a demonstration in their behalf. 
And when he finally tore himself free and faced them with 
looks more furious than their own, they made way for 
him to depart and turned to renew their assaults upon 
the door. When he got to the outskirts of the crowd and 


was walking away in his disordered costume, a friendly 
mechanic advised him to take off his coat and carry it 
over his arm for fear some other mob would take him 
for an escaped draft-officer and "finish the job." Fol- 
lowing the advice, Augustin walked home d la Mose in 
"Life in New York." As for the men inside the engine- 
house, the attention of the mob was soon diverted to 
some other quarter and the siege was raised. 

The panorama of the theatres as it unrolled before 
the young journalist can be briefly sketched. Wallack 
moved his theatre from Broome Street to Thirteenth, 
and immediately got into straits from which only the 
indulgence of his creditors saved him. His example in 
retrieving his fortunes shows the advantage of a trained 
company. Opening with a failure in modern comedy, he 
fell back upon old comedy with success. In the course 
of his progress he produced melodrama and the gossamer 
pieces of Robertson, and did not hesitate to catch the 
popular tide during the visit of Dickens in 1867 by re- 
viving a dramatization of "Oliver Twist." Nothing was 
foreign to his stage that could be done well. His pred- 
ecessor Burton, after moving up from Chambers Street 
to the vicinity of Bond, retired for good. The Astor 
Place Opera House was converted Into the Mercantile 
Library, and Castle Garden into an immigrant depot 
(the new Academy of Music on Fourteenth Street having 
become the home of Italian opera). The Broadway The- 
atre was soon dismantled for business purposes. 

The stage then was never without a tragic star. For- 
rest's glory was setting, Davenport's at its zenith, and 
Edwin Booth's rising. Charles Kean and Ellen Tree 
revisited America. Julia Dean, Matilda Heron, Char- 
lotte Cushman, and our foreign visitors Janauschek and 
Ristori brightened the sky. Over Julia Dean, one of the 


dear daughters of memory, we may linger a moment. 
As boys we saw her in "Tortesa the Usurer," and as we 
walked home Augustin said, "Some day I shall write a 
play for her!" When he became famous in after years, 
she asked for that play. In the meantime she had gone 
through much trouble, but without losing her delicate 
charm. Her first marriage was a misfortune. After- 
wards she became the wife of James Cooper. In reply 
to a note from Augustin on the subject of the play, came 
the announcement from Walter Cooper of her death in 
childbed:^ "My brother feels confident that you will 
write ^ in kindness, and has reason to know that you were 
inspired by a warmth of friendship of no cold or common 
order for her who is no more." 

Laura Keene (who was brought from England by 
Wallack) left him suddenly one day, and when she re- 
turned to New York Trimble the architect built a the- 
atre for her, in which she brought out "Our American 
Cousin," with Jefferson as Asa Trenchard and Sothern 
as Lord Dundreary. Notwithstanding many attractive 
productions she failed, and became a wandering star. 
To conquer in the field of management requires the gift 
of a Wellington, not of a Napoleon. Whenever we hear 
a young manager hailed as a Napoleon, we ought to 
tremble for his future. 

Nearly all the German artists attempted the English- 
speaking stage. Daniel Bandman showed Augustin his 
scheme for mastering the inflections of the English speech 
by interlining his part with a phonetic version. Madam 
Methua-Scheller, a charming actress of sentimental parts, 
achieved the distinction of supporting Edwin Booth as 
Ophelia, and also, on one occasion, of assisting in a cu- 
rious presentation of " Othello " with Bogumil Dawison (in 

* March 6, 1868. * An obituary. 


German), Booth (in English), and herself (in German- 
American). She was engaged by William Wheatley for an 
important revival of "The Lady of Lyons" at Niblo's, in 
which he appeared as Claude Melnotte. The fiasco of 
the first night was due to Wheatley's taking the center 
of the stage in the last scene and forcing Pauline (down 
at the left with her back to the audience) to rush to his 
arms when he threw off his cloak and revealed his iden- 
tity. The poor lady did rush, tripped over her bridal 
gown, and pitched head foremost at his feet with her own 
soles in the air. The petrified figure of the amazed 
Claude, as he stood with outstretched arms and looked 
helplessly at the wreck at his feet, was too much for the 
risibilities of the audience, and a mighty roar of laughter 
went up, notwithstanding the real sympathy felt for 
poor Pauline as she was carefully assisted to a seat, her 
bridal wreath straightened, and her pretty nose inspected 
for damage. 

When Laura Keene left her theatre, Mr. John Duff 
took it to give Mrs. John Wood the management and his 
friend Joseph Jeff"erson a permanent footing. This was 
the day of infinitely amusing burlesques, in which Mrs. 
Wood and Jeff'erson were unsurpassable. The accom- 
plished Charles Wyndham was in this company. When 
he first came to America, he joined the Union Army and 
served in many engagements during the Civil War. 
After Mrs. John Wood left the Olympic (as the theatre 
was now called) the pantomimist George L. Fox was 
brought from the Bowery, and the long reign of "Humpty 
Dumpty" began. 

Edwin Booth began a memorable engagement before 
the outbreak of the Civil War. This was at the Winter 
Garden, formerly the Metropolitan Theatre. The incli- 
nation of the great mass of Northerners was for peace 


and a resort to diplomacy to calm the excited South, and 
the significant lines of the aged Cardinal Richelieu to his 
page : "Take away the sword — States can be saved 
without it!" evoked thunders of applause. At a later 
date, when all efforts at adjustment had failed and the 
Northern spirit was roused to arms, the same applause 
was awarded to a still more striking phrase from the same 
lips in the same play : "First employ all methods to con- 
ciliate ; failing those — all means to crush!" A notable 
production of Booth was "Julius Caesar," given in 1864 
by the three Booth brothers in aid of the fund for the 
erection of the Shakespeare monument in Central Park. 
Edwin was Brutus, Junius, Cassius, and John Wilkes, the 
fiery Inheritor of their father's rash and uncontrollable 
spirit, assumed the role of the impetuous Mark Antony. 

A prominent star at the Winter Garden was Booth's 
brother-in-law, John S. Clarke, whose Toodles and Major 
de Boots were extravagantly humorous. Clarke, like the 
famous Robson of London, who unexpectedly revealed in 
burlesque an unsuspected depth of emotion, proved that 
a strong dramatic instinct is the foundation of the comic 
power. He revived an old play, " The School of Reform " 
and appeared as the ruffian Boh Tyke. His impersonation 
deserved more attention than it then received from the 
press generally ; but it did not pass without critical ap- 
preciation from Daly, for which the manager Stuart (an 
old journalist and critic) wrote his thanks. 

Among the theatrical apparitions of the time was the 
grotesque figure of George, the Count Joannes, as the 
old-time actor George Jones styled himself when, after 
an absence of years in Europe, he returned to America. 
He and his wife Melinda were once (183 1) considerable 
favorites with the public. He built the Avon Theatre 
in Norfolk, Virginia. When he suddenly appeared in 


America as a "Count," it was seen that he had become 
quite unbalanced, but that he possessed a keen wit, ex- 
tensive superficial acquirements, and an amazing flow of 
language. He intruded himself upon every public oc- 
casion until he was noticed ironically in the papers, and 
then he turned upon them with prosecutions for libel and 
conducted his own cases, in order, it was easily seen, to 
display his forensic aptitude. One of these actions was 
brought against the Tribune in the old Court of Common 
Pleas presided over by Judge Charles P. Daly. The 
Count (who was never satisfied to call himself an at- 
torney at law, but "counsellor of the Supreme Court") 
prosecuted in person and managed by his dexterity to 
confound the opposition, irritate the witnesses, and annoy 
the Court, After several such suits, however, he was ar- 
raigned as a common barrator^ or incitor of litigation, and 
was effectually quieted as a litigant. While the novelty 
of his eccentricities lasted he was found to be a capital 
companion at dinner, and discussed all subjects in theol- 
ogy, politics, and art with equal confidence and brilliancy. 
His last resort was to the stage again, where he cut a 
ludicrous figure and was unmercifully guyed by boister- 
ous audiences. The late E. A. Sothern impersonated his 
eccentricities in an amusing sketch called "The Crushed 
Tragedian." A sane man gifted with Jones' abilities could 
have made his mark in any profession. 

As early as 1862 the excellent actor William J. Florence 
and his spirited wife (Malvina Pray) abandoned the old- 
fashioned "Irish Boy and Yankee Gal" parts and began 
better work. His Cap^n Cuttle and her Susa?i Nipper 
were excellent. His production of Robertson's "Caste" 
at Wallack's old house was a benefit to the profession. 
It served to display as an artist of the highest type 
Mrs. G. H. Gilbert, Florence himself as a pleasing sur- 


prise in light comedy and as a skilful stage manager, 
and Owen Marlowe as a superior "swell" in Hawtrey. 
The greatest surprise, however, was the claim that the 
manager had been able to reproduce the play from mem- 
ory after hearing and seeing it a number of times in 
London. This claim defeated the attempt of Wallack, 
who had the American rights from the English proprietors 
(but no copyright), to enjoin the production as a piracy 
of an unpublished play. Florence's plea was sceptically 
regarded at the time, but considering an actor's power of 
committing to memory the longest part, it was hardly 
open to question. 

In contrast to this excellent play and admirable com- 
pany was the greater success of John E. Owens as Solon 
Shingle in the trumpery drama "The People's Lawyer," 
with an indiflferent company. Not even Sothern in 
Dundreary made such a success as this eminently "star" 
performance and its amazingly lifelike picture of an aged 
sodden village teamster. 

Madam Celeste was here again from London, in "The 
French Spy," with all her former grace and agility, but 
alas ! all mechanical now. Lotta came to us from Cali- 
fornia, and Maggie Mitchell acquired fame as the sprite- 
like Fanchon. William Horace Lingard gave huge audi- 
ences "Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines," while his 
talented helpmeet sparkled in burletta. Then "The 
Black Crook" intoxicated playgoers and brought train- 
loads of people from every point of the compass to see 
Bonfanti, Sangalli, and Rigl and a hundred pretty cory- 
phees ; the ballet troupe had been brought over by Jar- 
rett and Palmer to open in the Academy of Music in 
"La Biche au Bois," but the Academy burnt down, and 
Wheatley of Niblo's incorporated the ballet with a 
melodrama, "The Black Crook," which George Barras 


had just written. Jarrett deplored the attacks made 
upon the play, which was declared unfit for ladies to 
visit ; he wrote to Daly (as a newspaper editor) that a 
careful count of one night showed that of 2973 spec- 
tators 1345 were ladies — a complete refutation of the 

Soon the "British Blondes," as the company playing 
"Ixion" was called, irradiated the town; Miss Lydia 
Thompson, Miss Lisa Weber, and Miss Pauline Mark- 
ham, with one real actress, Miss Ada Harland, and a 
capital comedian, Harry Beckett, were the attractions that 
filled Wood's Broadway Theatre. Then the Kiralfys, 
Hungarian dancers of athletic type, claimed public notice ; 
and Isabel Cubas the Spanish dancer, with flaming eyes, 
dazzling teeth revealed in an eager smile, and sinuously 
moving arms. Nightly the original Hermann, prestidigita- 
teur (who curtly replied to a spectator who wished to put 
his "second sight" exhibition to an unexpected test, "Sir, 
I am not de debbil !"), shot single cards from a pack in his 
hand to the top gallery with a single eflFort of his power- 
ful wrist. Robert Heller came after him with a different 
style, — the "Magicien Farceur." An oddity in the- 
atricals of the time was the illusion named after its in- 
ventor, "Pepper's Ghost." Plays were altered to intro- 
duce the trick. 

French comedy was imported by Paul Juignet and 
exhibited in Niblo's Saloon, a concert hall attached to the 
Garden, and here "Artemus Ward" (Charles F. Brown) 
made his first appearance. He began by displaying, like 
Josh Billings (Mr. Shaw), the beauties of simplified spell- 
ing, then essayed the platform. From England in 1866 
he wrote to Daly that he was engaged by Punch for a 
series of papers, "Artemus Ward in London," and gave 
Mr. Howard Paul a characteristic introduction : "At 


Rochester they label their best flour XXX; Mr. Paul is 
a triple Xer. Trooly yours, A. Ward." Miss Adah Isaacs 
Menken took pains to write to Daly that the report of 
her engagement to Artemus was incorrect, and Ward 
himself wrote vaguely : "It won't do to be married." 

Miss Menken was a steady correspondent of the dra- 
matic editors, who were all enrolled as "chums" and 
"pals." In London she made her debut at Astleys, 
and wrote that all the Bohemians, critics, and authors 
"are old men, but quite jolly." She had ambition. 
Having made fame for herself in tights as Mazeppa, she 
yearned to play Rosalind, Beatrice, Bianca, Julia, Par- 
thenia, and Lady Gray; "all of which" (she wrote) "I 
once revelled in." At one time she confided that Ada 
Clare was translating a vaudeville from the French to be 
called "The Courtship and Marriage of Adah Isaacs 
Menken" — "but of course," she naively added, "it con- 
tains nothing actually relating to my life." 

Among the Bohemians Daly was never classed. He 
could neither smoke nor drink, and had no taste for gos- 
sip. His work was praised by Henry J. Raymond, by 
Erastus Brooks, by Robert B. Roosevelt, and by Charles 
G. Halpin (Miles O'Reilly). It was watched by "the 
profession," as one letter shows : 

"St. James, Suffolk Co., L. I. 
Friday, July 19", 1867. 
My dear Sir 

As an humble member of the theatrical profession allow me 
to thank you for the very kind article in yesterday's 'Times' 
denouncing the general practice of classing all females who per- 
form in concert saloons and other like places as 'actresses.' 
It is certainly very unfair and disrespectful to a profession which 
contributes so much to lighten the hours of the people, and I 
cannot help thanking you in the name of my companions for 


your generosity in calling the attention of the public to its 
Injustice. So many annoyances of this nature have come under 
my observation, and your notice so entirely reflects the feeling 
of my brethren, that I cannot resist the impulse of expressing 
my gratitude. 

With best wishes for your prosperity and health, I remain 

Yours &c. 

Stuart Robson." 

Chandos Fulton was one of his early friends on the 
press and a great crony of F. B. Conway, who with his 
wife managed the Brooklyn Theatre, the first regular 
playhouse in that city. Conway was immense on de- 
portment. He used to describe the respective depart- 
ments of Mrs. Conway and himself as " practical business " 
(his wife's) and "belles lettres" (his own). He and 
Fulton had the misfortune to be taken down at the same 
time with a long illness, during which they exchanged 
friendly inquiries. Fulton, being the younger, got out 
first and went to see Conway, who had just begun to sit 
up. "How did you manage to spend the — -ah — tedium 
of convalescence.?" asked Conway. "Oh, In a variety of 
simple ways," replied Fulton. "Renewing the — ah — 
pleasures of the — ah — table.?" "Oh, no." "Resorting 
to the — ah — solace of the — ah — bottle .?" "Oh dear 
no. I simply sat at the window and drank In the joys 
of nature." "Good Gad!" observed Conway, "death 
were preferable!" 

Music as well as the drama was within the sphere of 
the general theatrical critic. At the Academy, Gassier, 
Gazzanlga, Medorl, Colson, PattI, Nllssen, Tietjens, 
FabbrI, Kellogg, D'AngrI, Phillips, PIccolomIni, Lorini, 
Van Zandt, Testa, Hinckley, and McCullogh were 
heard, and Guerrabella, who afterwards resumed her 


maiden name Genevieve Ward and adopted the dramatic 
stage. The impresarios were Maretzek, Ullman, Grau, 
Strakosch, Rosa, and Grover. Brignoli ruled in popular 
favor for years with Susini, Barili, Fornes, Mazzoleni, 
Ronconi, Rovere, and Habelmann, Operatic manage- 
ment was always risky. In i860 Ullman gave it up for 
want of patronage and published a card to let the public 
know why. His singers then formed the "associated 
Artists" and gave a couple of seasons upon their own 

When Italian opera was sung at the Astor Place Opera 
House, Maretzek actually came down to fifty cents ad- 
mission to the boxes and twenty-five to the circle ; but 
even such bargain days did not bring a rush. Even in 
the days of the Academy there were independent impre- 
sarios. Jacob Grau took Lorini, Castri, and Morensi to 
Niblo's and Maretzek took Kellogg, Stockton, Testa 
and Ronconi, and Amelia Houck to the Winter Garden. 
Carl Anschutz gave German opera with Johanssen and 
Rotter at Wallack's little old theatre, and German song 
birds once carolled in the Olympic. 

Opera in English was recurrent and popular. After 
Caroline Richings in "The Enchantress," the charming 
Louisa Pyne with Harrison gave us Balfe, and once, for 
her benefit, a revival of "Midas," in which she was a 
sightly Apollo. Miss Kellogg and Mrs. Seguin came 
after them. Gabriel Harrison, unknown now but once 
prominent in every field of amusement, managed an 
English opera troupe, of which Mary Shaw, Castle, and 
Campbell were principals ; and his comedian was no less 
a person than Theodore Thomas ! French opera was 
practically introduced by Bateman in the Fourteenth 
Street Theatre with Tostee. Paul Juignet added the 
risks of French opera to those of French comedy. When 


Daly managed his first theatre, he had Juignet for a sea- 
son as stage manager. 

Daly in his ten years as reviewer developed a profound 
sympathy for all who were struggling along by-paths as 
well as on the highroad. I happened once to tell of a 
poor little travelling company that visited the village 
near which my happiest holidays were spent, and how my 
host, Judge Robinson, and I led pretty nearly the whole 
population to the show. Augustin said: "I'm glad! 
Wherever you may be always patronize the poor players." 


Daly's first play: "Leah the Forsaken." Kate Bateman. Her 
parents. Successful performance in Boston. Production in New 
York. Received warmly by the audience. Unknown author 
attacked by critics. Defended by Wilkes' Spirit. George Wil- 
liam Curtis's praise. He sees an historical parallel and a national 
lesson. Played in London. Miss Bateman's account of the first 
night. She sees Ristori in the German original. Naive criticism. 
Daly sues Bateman pere. A. Oakey Hall his counsel. Report of 
Hall's summing up from memory. Account of Hall and of his 
subsequent troubles and victory. Next play "Taming a Butter- 
fly." Frank Wood, collaborator. Written for Mrs. John Wood. 
Burlesque of "Leah." Third play, written for Mrs. Methua- 
Scheller. "Lorlie's Wedding." Miss Avonia Jones at the Winter 
Garden — "Judith" by Daly and Paul Nicholson. Daly adapts 
"La Sorciere" for her. Her letter describing her favorite parts. 

No dramatic critic lives who has not been tempted to 
write a play. Daly began with a drama of contempo- 
raneous events. Within a week after news of the attempt 
of Orsini and his confederates upon the life of Napoleon 
III reached New York, a play on the subject was in the 
hands of Laura Keene. It was politely returned, and laid 
away. Three years later the author produced one of 
the most successful dramas of the century. 

Kate Bateman and her sister Ellen, now grown to 
womanhood, had been the famous Bateman children, 
precocious impersonators of Richard III and other mature 
parts. Such prodigies were commoner then than now. 
Scarcely two generations before, Master Betty was the 
talk of London ; a little later Clara Fisher crowded the 
New York theatres, and after that the Marsh children 



were a great attraction. Mrs. Bateman was a dramatic 
writer of ability and Mr. Bateman an experienced actor 
and manager. He was looking for a play suitable for his 
daughter Kate, whose dramatic power developed with 
her years, an unusual case with child prodigies. Just 
now Mosenthal electrified Vienna with his "Deborah," 
a play representing the persecution of Jews in the sev- 
enteenth century by one class of the community, and the 
Christian charity of another class. A German friend men- 
tioned this play to Bateman and he suggested it to Daly, 
who procured a copy, had it hastily and roughly translated, 
perceived at once its theatrical value, and adapted it for 
performance in English. The Batemans were delighted 
with it. Mrs. Bateman, who later compared the adapta- 
tion with the original, expressed her satisfaction that the 
most applauded line in it was Daly's and notMosenthal's. 

Bateman staked all his means and practically his 
daughter's fortunes on the play, engaged an expensive 
company, brought it out in Boston ^ under the name of 
"Leah the Forsaken," and telegraphed to Daly the news 
of its immediate success. The ensuing month it was 
presented at Niblo's Garden ^ to an audience that over- 
flowed the house. Miss Bateman, then in her first youth- 
ful vigor, played with tenderness, pathos, and dignity, 
and was assisted by the veteran James W. Wallack, Jr., 
young Edwin Adams, the beautiful Mrs. Chanfrau, 
J. G. Barrett, J. W. Lanergan, Edward Lamb, and Mrs. 
Skerrett. That night Daly heard for the first time his 
lines spoken on the stage. 

The young journalist eagerly scanned the newspapers 
for the verdict of his fellow critics. The name of the 
author had not been announced by Bateman for fear of 
"trade" jealousy, and Daly kept away from rehearsals 

1 Dec. 8, 1862. ^ Jan. 19, 1863. 


accordingly. These precautions were, however, unavail- 
ing. The translation and adaptation were attacked 
ferociously; the mildest reviews suggested that the book 
be entirely rewritten. But a champion arose, ^ and in a 
comprehensive article ascribed the adverse criticism to 
literary jealousy, and asserted that the most eflfective 
parts of the dialogue were those in idiomatic English. 

The most conspicuous advocate of the play was George 
William Curtis, editor of Harper^s Weekly, who wrote 
about it in the fifth week of its run.^ He beheld in it an 
appeal for another down-trodden race on whose account 
a great civil war was then raging. "It is an English 
adaptation of a German sensational drama, and there 
never was a more timely play. As a simple sensational 
performance it is remarkable. The play is wrought in 
bold, coarse strokes. There is never any doubt as to its 
meaning," The writer finds a parallel between the 
class hatred depicted and that which he thought threat- 
ened the destruction of the nation, and concludes : "When- 
ever and wherever you can, go and see " Leah " and have 
the lesson burned in upon your mind which may save 
the national life and honor." 

It was not necessary to appeal to patriotic or to political 
sentiment to make the play one of the most popular of 
modern dramas. It was played throughout this country 
and in England, and has ever since been the vehicle for 
essays of female histrionic ambition. It was not re- 
written by Daly. Minor critics might condemn the in- 
elegance of its lines, but the public, like Curtis and other 
men of mark, appreciated the "bold coarse strokes" that 
reached their mark. Daly wrote to Mosenthal and sent 
him a copy of the adaptation, receiving a most friendly 
reply approving of his work in adapting a German "peo- 

1 Wilkes' Spirit. " March 7, 1863. 


pie's play" to another nation. The young tragedienne — 
then scarce twenty years old — wrote to Daly an account 
of her first performance of the play in London : 

"London, Oct. 6' 
My dear friend. 

Please take a walk down to the Park, extend your hands tow- 
ards the various unhappy newspaper offices, and say 'Bless you 
— and you — and you — and all, all, all !' and quietly take your 

way to No. 9 Spruce, and if you should meet ^ on the road, 

embrace him and tell him I love him dearly, for such is my feeling 
of amiability at present that even that crew come in for a portion 
of it. I should have written you a line by the last steamer, as 
I had promised myself — but I was so very much like the 5th 
Act, on Friday morning, that I was unable to go beyond scratch- 
ing a few words to my mother and Ellen. 

You can scarcely feel more content than I do to know that 
at last the play has been justly treated ; and the knowledge of 
that fact gave me as much pleasure on Thursday night — as 
the congratulations of my friends on my acting did. 

Well, I want to tell you how the play went. The first act 
went all smoothly — of course no demonstration until Leah's 
entrance. But when that amiable young female made her ap- 
pearance the reception was all by itself, as Papa would say, and 
the end of the act was electrical in its effect upon the audience. 
(That sounds like a Phila. newspaper.) Second Act charming 
and tender to a degree. Third Act a little slow at first because 
the priest had been indulging in a long dose of the 'Haunted 
Man' lately, and he consequently was sepulchral. But the 
end warmed them up and the call was fierce. Then came my 
dear old Fourth Act and as I had been a good child and had 
'reserved my power' I was quite able to give my young friend 
Rudolf that little gentle remonstrance in the way he deserved. 
The applause at the end of the act was something more than 
banging of hands ; & the dear good people looked so happy 
when I came out, that it looked more like an audience of per- 
sonal friends than entire strangers. 

1 One of the crustiest of the Bohemian critics. 


Then the fifth act came in just as charmingly as possible; 
and they cried and applauded — and applauded and cried, in 
the most industrious manner. And when the curtain fell and 
Mr. Webster — very choky and very happy — took me before 
the audience, the greeting I received was all I could have ever 
hoped for, and you know me well enough to remember that I 
am not pleased with a little. 

Among other wonderful things I must tell you that Leah's 
dress has been changed. She wears a lovely maroon skirt in 
place of the yellow ; and it is a great improvement, for the G. 
T. A. (great tragic actress .^) was short, not to say dumpy, in 
the aforesaid yellow. Then, oh ! delightful thought — she has 
a drapery that is — words fail — and shoes of the period!! 

But now prepare to weep. The dear old rags are gone ; and 
I am wretchedly respectable in a sort of Friar Laurence affair. 
Poor old rags — it was too bad — but they were so very raggy. 

The papers are all splendid. I beg to call your attention 
to the Times of Friday, and there is a gush in the Post of this 
morning — something in your own style — mind, I never find 
fault with it. 

The houses have been crowded. We are intensely fashion- 
able too. The Queen's box was filled last night with a large 
party of the Marchioness of Ely's, and to-morrow the Prince 
and Princess are coming. 

So you see everything seems as favorable as I could possibly 
wish, and with the critics and the public with me I quietly 
look forward to another lifetime of Leah. 

All this time I have never thanked you for your last letter — 
But I do now sincerely and I hope you continue in the same ami- 
able course. Pray go over to Washington Avenue and drink 
six cups of tea on the strength of Leah's success. 

Very truly your friend 

K. J. Bateman. 

You don't know how glad I should have been to have seen 

you and last Thursday. It did not seem quite natural — 

the absence of your two faces. 

Father will send you all the papers today." 


Another letter, a prior one, tells of being taken to see 
Ristori in "Deborah" when the family toured the Con- 
tinent before the London debut ; we must remember that 
the writer was hardly more than a child : 

"The phrenologists all say I have no 'veneration,' and I 
have begun to think the assertion to be very correct. When I 
saw Ristori — while I was sitting in the box waiting for the cur- 
tain to go up — I worked myself up into a nervous fever, and 
when she came on I was in a positive tremble from excitement 
and I imagined I should at once have my breath taken away. 
. . . Gradually my breathing recovered its usual placidity and, 
I grieve to confess it, was never troubled again during the per- 
formance of 'Elizabeth,' 'Marie Stuart' and 'Deborah,' in 
which characters I saw her. I say I grieve because I wanted 
to have been made to feel as I had never felt in the Theatre 
before. But no — It must be my 'veneration' — I can't ac- 
count for it in any other way. I did not so much wonder at 
not going into ecstasies over Elizabeth and Marie Stuart, for 
although I had read Schiller's play — which hers is a translation 
of — my Italian being rather bad I put it down to my not under- 
standing the words, and reserved — not my 'power' — but my 
enthusiasm for 'Leah,' or rather 'Deborah.' How I wish you 
could have seen it! I was so disappointed I nearly cried. 
Poor dear old 'Leah.' Just think of her coming on and toddling 
down into a remote corner of the stage, where no one could see 
her, and looking as amicably as possible at the youth who 
brought her on, as if she rather liked it. The end of the first 
act was tame — tame don't express it. I mean by that the end 
of the first scene in our play — for Ristori plays it in four acts. 
The infant of four years of age was a creature of at least thirteen 
or fourteen. She made me shudder! No attempt at scenery 
or music whatever, which made it still more dreary and cold. 
'I don't care to leave this farm' and Jacob were discovered 
in the last act alone reaping in the ocean, the ruined cross was 
shoved on by a youth who, to say the least, was not dressed in 
the costume of the period, and stone arches and houses and 


churches were taken on and off in a way that would have been 
scarcely thought endurable in an amateur performance. The 
whole affair was somnolent to a degree, and if you could have 
seen Papa's face and watched the various emotions depicted 
thereon during the evening you would I am sure have been en- 
tertained. Well, I'll act 'Deborah' for your benefit in our 
Parlor some evening when I don't feel like knitting, and let 
you see how you like it. 

Papa and everyone in the party send very kind remembrances 
in which I assure you I join them, and with strict orders that 
you do not permit yourself to be taken for a Tribune reporter 
again ^ and that you present yourself at Washington Avenue 
when we arrive — believe me 

Very truly your friend 

K. J. Bateman 

See what a nice /. I made you." 

With Miss Bateman Daly maintained relations of warm 
regard all his life ; but he soon fell out with Mr. Bateman, 
with whom he could not agree as to the extent of the 
reward which the author ought to have for his services 
(few authors and managers can), and the outcome was a 
lawsuit. A. Oakey Hall, then District Attorney and 
one of the most prominent figures at the Bar, summed 
up for Daly at the trial in a way to induce self-examination 
and repentance in Bateman and to secure a verdict in 
spite of the multitude of legal impediments industriously 
scattered in the way by the defendant's counsel. Hall's 
speech was much talked about, and the Herald wished a 
report of it to publish. Unfortunately it had not been 
taken down by the court stenographer, but Daly wrote a 
report of it from recollection and got this compliment 
from Hall : 

' Referring to the incident of the Draft Riot. 


"City and County of New York 
District Attorney's Office 
April 24, 1866. 
My dear Client. 

Yr. report of the speech is ten times better than the original. 
I never before so well realized how a reporter can 'make an ora- 
tor.' I was happy to illustrate the Guild of Literature and in 
it I find my repayment. 

It has never been my practice to charge a counsel fee to a 
brother in the law or in literature, and therefore the delicacy of 
your note may be withdrawn. 

Very cordially Yrs. 

A. Oakey Hall. 

P.S. If a 'case' be made up I should like to see it before 

settled, &c. 

Aug. Daly Esqr." 

Mr. Hall was one of Daly's earliest friends, and felt the 
admiration for the ambitious youth shared by so many of 
the elder men of his day. This was Hall's happiest period. 
His versatihty found employment in literature as well as 
law. He was an excellent speaker, possessing a voice of 
musical quality. As district attorney he gained such 
esteem that he was easily elected and reelected to the 
office of mayor. In office, like another literary politician, 
Disraeli, he left details to subordinates and relied upon 
their accuracy and honesty. It was during his second 
term as mayor that the duty of auditing the unsettled 
claims against the abolished board of county super- 
visors was, by special statutory provision, imposed upon 
him in conjunction with the Comptroller Connolly, and 
Tweed, the former chairman of the board. Hall audited 
whatever his associates approved without looking into 
the merits of each claim. The disclosure of enormous 
frauds led to the indictment separately of the three 


officials: Mayor Hall being indicted solely for "failure 
to audit" — a charge considered by many legal minds 
at the time as inappropriate upon the facts. His trial 
was held in the Common Pleas, as the judges of the Gen- 
eral Sessions, John K. Hackett and Gunning S. Bedford, 
were his intimate friends. A great surprise was sprung 
when the prosecution called to the witness stand one of 
the fraudulent claimants — a contractor named Gar- 
vey, supposed to be in Europe, whither he had fled at 
the first exposures. Garvey, while not being able to 
connect Mayor Hall with the plots he revealed, neverthe- 
less unfolded such a tale of plunder as was likely to prove 
disastrous to any member of the city government to whom 
negligence could in any way be imputed. The death of 
one of the jurors before the completion of the trial was 
therefore most fortunate for Mayor Hall. When some 
months later he was notified by the prosecution to stand 
a second trial, it was at Christmas time ; and the public, 
then accustomed to the confession of Garvey, thought the 
selection of date was oppressive. Hall, however, readily 
accepted the challenge. He asked no delay, and his 
counsel accepted the first twelve jurymen called to the 
box. He was acquitted, there being complete failure to 
prove criminal intent. 

The success of "Leah the Forsaken" invited Daly to 
continue this line of work. Next year he was asked by 
Mrs. John Wood, managing the Olympic Theatre, to give 
her a comedy ; and he worked with Frank Wood, a young 
newspaper friend, upon an adaptation of Sardou's "Le 
Papillon," which Mrs. Wood produced under the name 
of "Taming a Butterfly." Frank Wood had recom- 
mended himself to Daly by his clever burlesque called 
"Leah, the Forsook," produced at the Winter Garden^ 

1 Summer of 1863. 


with the fat Dan Sitchell as ^^ Leah, a Shrewish 
Maiden,'' the gigantic Mack Smith as the ^^ gentle 
Maddelena,'' the beautiful Emily Thorne as Rudolph^ 
and the lean and hungry-looking Sol Smith as the 
wicked Nathan. 

The scene of Daly's next activities was again in the 
Winter Garden. This playhouse was erected on the site 
of Tripler Hall, a concert room later called "Metropolitan 
Hall," and altered to the Metropolitan Theatre (which 
became Laura Keene's new theatre for a brief season) ; 
it then became Burton's new theatre, and was finally 
reconstructed by Boucicault and named "The Winter 
Garden." Madame Methua-Scheller gave Daly one of 
her favorite parts to turn into English for her debut in 
that tongue. It was produced under the title "Lorlie's 

Miss Laura Keene, now (1863) a travelling star, an- 
nounced her want of a play in these lines to Daly : 

"Riverside Lawn, Acushnet, Mass. 
My dear Sir : 

I want a comedy ! I have the plot — situation etc. etc. all 
sketched. It would not be a task of any great length for you 
and would not diminish your rapidly growing reputation as an 
author. Will you undertake it ? And what terms per night 
for the U. S. and England will you name ? I have given the sub- 
ject a great deal of thought and have been collecting matter 
for it for the last three years. Boucicault and Tom Taylor are 
willing to do it but cannot see it as an American comedy. I can- 
not see it as an English one, for it is of us most essentially and 
will I am convinced go better in England for being American. 
I need not tell you that I want a fine part. I played so much 
bad business in my own theatre (ever sinking the actress in the 
manageress) that I have refused every offer to New York, await- 
ing the time when a role that suited me should present itself. 


that would enable me to do justice to myself. Will you give me 
your views at as early a date as possible ? 

Very truly yours, 
Laura Keene. 
August 1863." 

It is instructive to find that although the star had the 
plot, the situation, and the material ready for the drama- 
tist, it devolved upon him to create a "fine part," to 
realize the ideal which the star had been waiting years for, 
and to give the piece a setting of brilliant dialogue and 
character-portrayal to be recognized as distinctly Ameri- 
can, Such are the tasks of "no great length" imposed 
upon playwrights. 

What poor travelling stars had to put up with in the 
war days (1863) is related by Miss Keene's manager, 
Brough : 

"You can hardly conceive the poverty of talent in the theatres 
of the west, and the actors' insolent independence. They will 

only do what they d please. Only last evening a gentleman 

named Lanergan who was cast for the role of 'Old Hardcastle' 
in 'She Stoops to Conquer' absented himself from the theatre, 
giving as his only reason the part was not good enough for him ! 
As he was a useful man the manager retained him. At Woods 
theatre another actor, — Wight, — played the first act of a 
drama and then walked out of the house and got drunk. The 
management were compelled to look over it & retain him in 
the theatre. So much for the Western drama. Miss Keene 
says if she saw the slightest hope of doing any justice to your 
play she would try it." 

Another star with another commission for the author 
took possession of the Winter Garden. Miss Avonia 
Jones was the daughter of the Count Joannes (or George 
Jones) and Melinda Jones, already mentioned. She was 
of good height, and dark, with regular features and a 


musical voice, but with a monotonous delivery. Her 
mother was a lady of majestic mien, who had played 
heavy female parts and had even appeared as Romeo. 

For Miss Avonia Jones Daly prepared "Judith" in 
collaboration with Paul Nicholson, a fellow journalist. 
Daly next adapted for her "La Sorciere," then "Garcia," 
and finally "La Tireuse des Cartes." "The Sorceress," 
under which title the first play was announced, was a 
tale of maternal suffering under the barbarous practice 
of droit de Seigneur. Daly proposed to make the heroine 
of the play the daughter, not the mother, and this elicited 
the following comment from the star : 

"I can't make out how you intend transforming Jeanne into 
a ''daughter^ and yet keep the powerful interest which in the 
original is centered in the ^mother.'' I always think the latter 
phase of life the most powerful and I am most found of por- 
traying such emotions. Daughters I care little about. I don't 
mind playing middle-aged women, for I have so long been ac- 
customed to it in 'Lady Macbeth,' 'Lady Constance' &c. As 
you have never seen me act I must tell you that my style is 
passionate. When I love it must be madly ; not the tender 
gentle love that shrinks from observation, but love that would 
sweep all before it and if thwarted would end in despair, mad- 
ness and death. In fact in acting I am more fond of being bad 
than good. Hate, revenge, despair, sarcasm and resistless love 
I glory in ; charity, gentleness and the meeker virtues I do not 
care for." 

This desperate character was as far from the good Miss 
Jones' natural disposition as from her power of portrayal. 
She was already the wife of the eminent English tragedian, 
G. V. Brooke, was devoted to her mother and her sister, 
and was without a particle of the stormy passion and 
fire in dramatic impersonations which she had evidently 
set up as her ideal. 


A tour of the South with the Daly plays and Miss Jones as star. 
Letters from the South during the War period. Norfolk revisited. 
The blacks. The colored provost guard. Recollections of the 
Taylor and Fillmore campaign. Torchlight procession. Lady 
with the wreath. By railroad to Nashville. Blackguards in the 
"Ladies' Car." Military acquaintances. Illness. Steamboat on 
the Mississippi. Methua and his illuminated letters. Guerillas. 
A trap baited with cotton. Stuck on a sandbar. Transferred. 
Cairo the filthy. The war fatal to civic housekeeping. Aground 
again and again. A better class of passengers. Despair of the 
barkeeper. Memphis brings up the average of wickedness. News- 
papers. Notice of distinguished arrival. Permit from military 
authorities. Rumors of guerillas. Alarm bells empty the theatres. 
Return to New York. Compliment from Mrs. Jones. Appre- 
ciation of her daughter. Matilda Heron commands a play. 
Ada Isaacs Menken to have another. 

After Miss Jones' season at the Winter Garden was 
completed, Daly, then utterly inexperienced in manage- 
ment, was asked by Miss Jones to manage a starring 
tour with her in his plays through the South. He under- 
took it with complete confidence. Its pecuniary return 
to him was absolutely nothing, but the preparation for 
his future career was valuable. The tour was to take in 
those cities occupied by the Federal troops (no others 
were accessible). Daly's Southern birth would, it was 
hoped, be a recommendation to the old residents. Dur- 
ing his absence I substituted for him upon his various 

The history of this tour is condensed into letters which 
would be uninteresting to the general reader as mere 
accounts of theatrical business (very much alike in all 



periods and under all "stars"), if they did not give some 
glimpses of local conditions seen through the smoke of 
battle. A letter from Norfolk containing childhood 
reminiscences I venture to insert : 

"Norfolk, Va. September, 1864. 
You see I am in the old town. I have walked again the 
queer, curling, odd, ridiculous old streets and the little lanes 
and short cuts our boy feet toddled over. I have seen the old 
market and examined the old pump. The market women 
gather round it as of old to wash their dry vegetables and give 
them a watery semblance of freshness. It was grand market 
day to-day and the old fashioned queue of wagons and carts 
with the horses taken out and tied to a bundle of hay behind, 
extended up market square and up Main Street to Church. I 
have made but one purchase, but I have duplicated that one 
lots of times — Figs ! Think of it — Figs ! At the sight of 
them — at the taste — visions of our little pilferings in the 
back garden of Johnson's house held me in a retrospective 
trance ! I was a little rapscallion again up among the branches 
and you were the conscience-touched but overruled little 
brother under them catching the fruit — ripe — cracking and 
luscious which I threw down. I even had a sore mouth again 
from the recollection, and from present sensations I believe I 
have a sore stomach from a reality of gormandizing. I feasted 
cheaply. Five cents a dozen ! Father Abraham ! Would we 
not give five cents apiece in New York.^" 

"Norfolk, Sept. 15, '64. 
My room in the hotel (which is next to the Bank on the 
corner of Bank St. and Main) Is exactly opposite our old house 
in Dodd's Lane. It is now occupied by Darkies ; indeed there 
are few places in town not filled with the black. They are two 
thirds of the foot passengers, they are storekeepers, barbers, 
market men, ferrymen, omnibus drivers, coachmen, ticket 
takers, soldiers. Provost guards, waiters — everything. They 
are cheap and sassy. You can have a dozen to run a single 


errand, and the one selected falls down and thanks you for 
giving him the job and charges you nothing for doing it ! 

We had a riot in town between the negro Provost Guard 
and a lot of tipsy sailors yesterday in broad day. It was a big 
fight and finished up several sailors and a few darkies. The 
'bracks' in consequence are bigger than ever." . . . 

"Norfolk, Va. September 21, '64, 
In my perambulations the other day I searched out the old 
circus camping ground. It is a Darkey quarter now and the 
spot where the ring used to be raised and the horses run, the 
clown joke his old jokes and the ringmaster snap his long whip, 
is covered with dingy little two-story negro habitations. The 
spot where the old Avon Theatre stood is now covered by the 
town jail. Think of it! 

I passed Corsee's house too and thought of our famous torch- 
light procession, of the 'three cheers for the Lady of the Wreath,' 
of cousin blushing, and all — for the old porch looked so old 
and so natural." 

The torchlight procession referred to took place during 
the presidential campaign of 1848 between Taylor and 
Fillmore on the Whig ticket, and Cass and Butler on the 
Democratic. We small urchins, aged eight and ten, 
paraded with the cohorts of the latter, and were intrusted 
with a transparency on a pole which occasionally came to 
the ground with a crash and nearly tilted us up on end. 
We erected a flagstaff in our yard with a banner and the 
legend "Cass & Butler" in large black letters on it, printed 
for us by the local Democratic journal. Notwithstand- 
ing these exertions Cass and Butler were defeated. 

"Nashville, October 2, 1864. 

What a horrid journey we have had to be sure. You say I 
will find changes of water — and they will disagree with me. 
I poison each tumblerfuU I drink with ^ dozen drops of whiskey. 

Only think of it ! I drink wotka 1 The world will end in '64. 


The railroad accommodations out here are horrid ; on the 
night trains especially so. Low narrow seats, dirty floors, no 
ventilation, brutes and blackguards in the so-called ladies' 
car ! No water, dim lights, filthy stations and long waits for 
'connections,' are a few of the evils. We waited two hours in 
the cold night air (between ii and i o'clock) for a train at a 
town called Seymour, between Cincinnati and Louisville, be- 
cause the ladies' saloon stank so badly and the 'gentlemen's' ( .^) 
ditto was crowded with noisy, blasphemous and filthy soldiers 
and conscripts." 

"Nashville, October 9. 
I have made very few military acquaintances here, pre- 
ferring, if possible, to be known to the citizens. I have had a 
friendly interview with the Mayor and Secretary of State ; 
have become intimate with the Paymaster of the department 
— know the Cheatems (very honest people) — 'oldest inhab- 
itants' and relations of the Reb. Gen., &c. &c. I have been 
quite unwell, though (compelled to stay much in my room) so 
I have been unable to enlarge the circle. I caught a severe cold 
on two rainy nights (Tuesday and Wednesday) and it rushed to 
my throat. It is as full of rocks now as Broadway when Russ 
or Belgian is being laid. I have a mountain on the outside 
(under right ear) about as big as a baby's head, as hard as the 
heart of a melodramatic cruel uncle and as painful as love's 

"October 26, 

On the Mississippi. 

My point of date is not very definite, I admit, for it might 
mean anywhere within five hundred or a thousand miles or so. 
The river is very low, and besides the usual traditional snags 
which threaten us at every bend, sandbars are now to be dreaded. 
Just above us are two steamers high and dry on a bank. I 
tremble as I gaze. They have been so three days. What a 
chance for the Guerillas, who line the banks all the way down. 

From the sight I had of the venerable paternal parent of 
waters this afternoon I don't think much of that Mighty ' strame.' 


It is very narrow and very dirty. In color the water varies 
from a sick green to an invalid yellow. You come by some 
pretty spots occasionally, though. Rural and romantic houses 
built high up on the bluffs. The foliage too is all lovely to the 
eye just now and the river shore is grand in autumn colors. 
What a magnificent album might be made up of the autumn 
leaves alone. I have seen nothing out here though to equal the 
western Pennsylvania forests in their Indian summer dress. 
Such richness of color, such variety of shade, so luxuriously 
thick. As you rush by them or through them it all looks like 
fairyland or dreamland. 

Ask Methua why he don't write to me. He has commenced 
*a series' of 'Artistic' letters to Miss J. No. 2 (he numbers 
them and pages them) came yesterday in an envelope much 
larger than this sheet of paper." 

J. Guido Methua's illuminated epistles were unique. 
He was a painter of skill, and his letters of congratulation 
or commemoration were engrossed in copperplate hand- 
writing, with superscription and initial words in German 
text in gold and colors. I have one before me now, 
dated February 3, 1863 '■> it is addressed "Augustin Daly," 
in resplendent characters, followed by "Dear Friend," 
and begins : "Leah [in blue and gold] may be considered 
the vanguard of a new dramatic era." He was the de- 
voted husband of the beautiful Madame Methua-Scheller. 

Methua predicted that all the translators and adapters 
would be turning their eyes to the German, now that 
Mr. Daly had revealed the mine. There were some at- 
tempts to work the "find," but they languished. It was 
left to my brother twenty years after to reopen it suc- 
cessfully with the German comedies. Mosenthal's "Debo- 
rah" was now done into English by a great number of 
translators and sold everywhere ; but as those produc- 
tions were very different from the Daly version and could 


not be played under the name of "Leah," they found no 
market. But to return to the account of a voyage down 
the Father of Waters in war times : 

"On the Mississippi, Oct. 30, 1864. 
We have had an eventful passage. We have struck snags, 
have run on bars and gotten off again, and we have been fired 
into by guerillas. This last 'item' transpired today while we 
were at dinner. The shots — about a dozen — came from a 
masked battery — and although we had an entire regiment of 
U. S. soldiers on board there was not a musket to reply. No 
injury was done — as the boat is a pretty fast one and took to 
her heels for safety. So you see I am in the midst of the War. 
But I assure you everything looks uglier in print than in reality. 
For instance there are more misses than hits in these skirmishes. 
It is one thing to fire — another to shoot. It is only in cases 
of real downright carelessness that positive injury is sustained. 
A steamer which reached Cairo just as we were leaving had 
been boarded by guerillas and several folks shot, but this was 
because she stopped against all reason at a deserted point on the 
river to take in cotton. The cotton was the bait in a trap." 

"On board the Louisville, Cairo & Memphis U. S. Mail Line 
Steamer St. Patrick, Geo. O. Hart, Master, I. L. Frisbie, 

Thursday, Novr. 3rd, 1864. 

On Monday the boat ran on a terrible sandbar about 80 
miles above Memphis and then stuck for sixty hours and still 
sticks. She is loaded down with freight and draws 7^ feet of 
water and there is only 5^ feet where she lies. I and a number 
of passengers becoming disgusted got the Captain to hail a 
passing boat and put us on her, and today I stand a fine chance 
(guerillas and God willing) of being in Memphis after an eight 
days' trip 

I did not write you while in Cairo It is without ex- 
ception the filthiest hole in existence. It is the end of the world. 
The tail of creation. The finis of the sphere. The dirt-box of 


this globe. It is built on a morass with a high embankment in 
front of it on the river side to save it from being wiped away 
from the map in an overflow . This, however, does not save 
it from being constantly inundated, as the 'body' of the town 
is far below the water, with wooden bridges for foot passengers, 
and only on three or four can horses travel. Pigs, cows, hens 
and horses run loose in the alleys and lanes. Every thorough- 
fare is a garbage box. All the houses are built on foundations 
20 feet high and with no cellars or basements. All stores are 
variety stores. The telegraph man, even, keeps a grocery and 
the postmaster has a news stand. (I wonder if mailed news- 
papers are delivered regularly or safely there .'') And yet for- 
tunes are made there. I hear of one man who has cleared 
$125,000 and who came there three years ago as porter to a 
'drygoodery.' The newspapers (there are two) talk of 'our 
growing city' and its future as they have been talking the 
last 25 years. Ah Allah ! but Cairo is one of the places !" 

The disorder caused by v^ar was fatal to any attempt 
at good "housekeeping" on the part of municipal author- 
ities. One coming to the city of New York from abroad 
in 1864 would have seen parks turned into camps, and 
squares littered with unsightly wooden shanties. It was 
because the City Hall Park was so defaced for years that 
the public made no protest against the sale of the lower 
end of it to the Federal Government as a site for the post- 
office — the worst mistake ever made by the authorities 
of the then misgoverned city, 

"Memphis, Nov. 6, '64. 
Dear Josey, 

As you see I have at last reached here 

We must have had a Jonah on board the entire way ; for in 
coming from St. Louis first on the 'Julia' we were grounded 
twice, and took two days to make a 20 hours' trip. Then we 
were transferred at Cairo to the 'Mississippi,' a monstrous 
palace of a boat, and left the town in her on Sunday. Monday 


morning we 'grounded' and stuck till Tuesday noon, when we 
were dragged off the bar by an amiable but rival S. B. An 
hour after, we struck another and a much worse bar, and on 
that the boat remained in the most stubborn manner for three 
days ; those of the passengers who were compelled to be in 
Memphis or New Orleans were transferred to the St. Patrick 
(Howly boat !) but hardly had we got off on her than 
she grounded . . . got off the next morning, but soon after 
in rough water and striking a snag she unshipped her rudder, 
and had it not been for a gunboat which came in sight and 
took us in tow the good St. Patrick would never have got to 

The passengers were all staid, moral and upright people. 
They were all of the church. Very little smoking and chewing 
and no tippling. The barman was in despair. He was almost 
ready to give away his drynkkes to anybody who would take 
them, only to keep his hand in. Even the 'sailors' were moral. 
I didn't hear a swear sworn by any of 'em. Not even a little 
d — . The Captain too was the mildest sort of man. I became 
so impressed that I was becoming 'a chosen children' myself, 
and would have joined the tabernacle of grace if I had remained 
off shore a day longer. One old cove to whom I was relating 
an 'experience' or two of my travels, deceived by my churchly 
manner wanted to know if I was on a journey in the missionary 
interest ! When I told him that I was not, but on a tour in 
the interest of the drama, he gave a spasmodic shudder and 
fled to the secret recesses of his berth to pray for my sinful, 
depraved and lost soul. 

The immoralities of the town however make up for the sainted 
character of the boat and its passengers. Such wild devils, 
such drinkers, such smokers, chewers, such gamblers and up- 
roarious fellows generally I never saw. ... I am on the war- 
path to conquer or die. The newspapers received me very 
kindly. Here is a sample: (Clipping) 'Memphis Bulletin. 
By James B. Bingham. Largest City circulation. Largest 
circulation of any paper in West Tennessee. The circulation 
of the Daily Bulletin is double that of all the City press com- 


bined. Personal. We had the pleasure yesterday of taking 
by the hand Augustin Daly Esqr., the talented literary and 
dramatic editor of the New York Daily Express and Sunday 
Courier who is on a brief visit of business to our City. Mr. 
Daly's character embraces all the qualities of a scholar and 
gentleman. We extend to him the freedom of our sanctum.' " 

Enclosed was Augustin's Federal permit : 


Memphis, Tenn. Nov. 7, 1864. 
Permission is hereby granted A. Daly, Esqr. Citizen of N. Y. 
to remain in the City Ten (10) days, he will not be molested by 
the Militia Patrols. 

By order of 

Brig. Genl. Buckland. 
Alf. G. Wither 

Capt. 8 a.a.a. Gd." 

"Memphis, Nov. 12, '64. 

By the way, let me prepare you at once, for anything may 
happen. There are rumors, plenty, of the approach of the 
Confederates to this place. A bit of news not known and which 
you may publish as reliable is that Beauregard is in command 
of Western Tennessee forces and is going to have Columbus and 
Memphis in order to blockade the Mississippi. Hood will 
work for Nashville and Bowling Green, and so the old 'rebel' 
line will be restored ! This is the plan, and I have it from For- 
rest's old friend and surgeon. The other day in the capture, on 
the Tennessee river, of gunboats, 5,000,000 of greenbacks were 
taken — the pay of Sherman's army for 8 months. This is 
kept tremendously still, but gold has taken a step on it. 

If Memphis is taken I shall be quite safe, from my intimate 
acquaintance with the Secesh powers (in private) here; or if 
it is held I shall be equally safe, from my friendliness with the 
other powers. So be easy, my boy. You can write to me from 
N. Y. up to the 24, your last letter leaving that day. 

By the way, write to Keller and threaten him horribly." 


"Memphis, Nov. 13, '64. 

As you can judge and as you have learned by this time I 
have not been captured, shot or imprisoned, so your queries on 
those heads are answered. I have to have a permit from 
Headquarters to walk about the City, though, and exempt me 
from arrest and imprisonment for 'desertion' from the Militia 
duty of the place. In such good odor am I with the authorities, 
though, that I could get a dozen permits if I needed them. I 
am almost like the man in the fable who sat between two stools 
— only in this instance the Federal officers seek me, while it is 
I who seek the Confederates — of whom there are a number in 
town in disguise. I introduced a Rebel Captain to Miss Jones 
the other evening and we had quite a treasonable feast of 'rea- 
son' together. He is one of the most noted guerilla leaders of 
the west. 

On Friday night I had my first taste of 'war.' You must 
know that everybody belongs to the militia here. No resident 
is exempt. They drill every week and all the stores are closed 
that day to let every one turn out — white and black. When 
danger to the town is apprehended and these soldiers are needed 
the signal given for assembling is four reports of cannon and the 
ringing of all the bells. Then all have to seize their muskets 
and trot to rendezvous. Well, Friday evening about 9^ o'clock, 
and while the performance was going on to the biggest and most 
fashionable audience ever in the theatre since it was built, the 
four cannon were heard and the bells commenced to ring. 
Lord ! You never saw such a lot of scared people in your life 
as the men were. They started for the door pell-mell. For- 
rest had been reported within 20 miles of Memphis for six days 
and all thought he had come in at last. The darkies were the 
most scared of all. You know he has threatened to hang every 
'nigger' he catches. I addressed them myself. I told them 
there was nothing the matter, that those shots were only fired 
in honor of another victory of Sheridan in the Shenandoah. 
But it was no good. I only had my lie for my pains. 'Dat's 
all berry well, bress yer soul, Massa,' — said one old codfish, 
'but what for dem dere bells ringin' .'" and off he went followed 


by the entire gallery. In three minutes we had only an audience 
of secessionists remaining." 

In a few days Daly was at home, not regretting his ex- 
periences. He filed away with his correspondence a 
letter from Avonia's mother to one who must have ap- 
peared to her experienced mind an extraordinary person : 

"Daly, you are a thoroughly unselfish chap — too much for 
your own good — it is such a novelty to find one in these 
shoddy days that I cannot prize you too much. If I could 
only make you feel you would confer a favor on me by asking 
me to do something for yourself I should feel less weighed down 
by gratitude — but you are one of those that always take joy 
in doing for others, but unwilling others should do for you." 

Through many letters, playful, practical, and meditative, 
from Miss Jones herself to her manager, runs a sentiment 
that she sums up in one sentence: *'It is a great thing 
to have an earnest disinterested friend. You are the first 
one I ever had." 

Matilda Heron at this time was a very masterful char- 
acter, making her own engagements and commanding her 
own plays — one from Daly, referred to in a character- 
istic letter written on her departure for California : ^ 

"... And how about the play you are getting up for me .^ 
Good boy ! That's right ! Get to work ! I hope to be back 
in June and shall have just nice time to read it over with you, 
study it and produce it in the autumn. Do not get it into your 
head to come over to the steamer on Wednesday, for you know 
how I abhor 'adieux' — They hurt my poor heart and it has 
enough to carry this very day in leaving husband child and 
home. Don't forget me quite, good, dear Daly, and be assured 
of the gratitude with which I shall ever remember you. A 
Happy New Year and good bye to you. 

Matilda Heron Stoepel." 
' 1865. 


He pursued his profession of playwright with vigor ; 
not hesitating to offer his work to Edwin Booth, E. L. 
Davenport, J. W. Wallack, Jr., and John S. Clarke, 
although without result; and Miss Adah Isaacs Menken 
pressed him to write a drama for her. Nothing that he 
brought out, however, approached the success of " Leah 
the Forsaken" until the production of the two plays men- 
tioned in the next chapter. 


First dramatization. "Griffith Gaunt." The grotesque "New York 
Theatre." Lewis Baker and Mark Smith. Art of dramatizing 
novels. Daly selects the cast. Rose Eytinge. John K. Morti- 
mer. Their acting. The Courtroom scene. Success of the play. 
Demand for it. Bowery theatre burns down. The great sensa- 
tion, "Under the Gaslight." Sensational plays. The Railroad 
Scene. Incidents of the first night. Nothing could kill it. Fa- 
miliar characters. Judge Dowling. "Charley" Spencer. Bouci- 
cault steals the railroad scene. Injunction against "After Dark." 
Pirates pay. Hall cannot plead for either side. Burlesque and 
parodies. Henry Ward Beecher. "Norwood." Miss Jennie 
Worrell's objection to 'bags.' "Pickwick Papers." Daly's 
scenario. "A Flash of Lightning." Human documents. Ill- 
ness. Mrs. Scott Siddons. Marriage to Miss Mary Duff. Writes 
a "reform" play for the West. Begins to look about for a theatre. 

Two respectable actors, Lewis Baker and Mark Smith, 
were lessees of the "New York Theatre," a grotesque 
structure on Broadway, opposite Waverly Place, con- 
verted from a church after the congregation of the Rev- 
erend Samuel Osgood had moved uptown. A. T. Stewart 
bought the abandoned temple and let it to Miss Lucy 
Rushton, an English actress, for whom it was fitted up as 
a theatre. She failed, and was succeeded by Lewis and 
Baker; who, looking about for attractions, hit upon the 
idea of a dramatization of the then popular and exciting 
novel of Charles Reade, "Griffith Gaunt, or Jealousy," 
and upon Mr. Daly as the man to do the work. The 
work had to be done in a week. Daly undertook it and 
did it. 

The technical difficulties of making a play out of a 
novel so as to satisfy those who have read and those who 



have not, are enormous. The whole effect of a book which 
it takes two days or more to read must be condensed into 
a spectacle not to exceed two and a half hours in length. 
It must be divided into acts, each of which must have a 
climax absolutely faithful to the spirit of the original work, 
but reached by a process of compression, dislocation, and 
rearrangement, the art of which must be unsuspected by 
the auditor. In addition, the play so constructed must 
be one to interest spectators who are not acquainted 
with the book. The scenes must spring naturally from 
each other in such sequence as to present a coherent and 
well-rounded work of art, perfect as a drama, as the novel 
was perfect as a tale. And it must, without the aid of 
description or explanation, tell its own story and carry its 
own moral. 

Not only was the literary task intrusted to Daly, but 
also the selection of actors and actresses for his char- 
acters, and the rehearsal of his scenes. His genius for 
stage direction was thus early felt by old professionals. 
The rapidity and directness with which he accomplished 
the dramatization demonstrated a special gift for arrange- 
ment with reference to theatrical effect which he was 
afterwards to display with the plays of Shakespeare and 
of the older dramatists. As to the cast, he engaged 
John K. Mortimer, who possessed a voice of singular 
sweetness, for Griffith Gaunt, and Rose Eytinge for Kate 
Peyton. That young actress was under a cloud, having 
abruptly broken a New York engagement a few years 
before. She was a dark-skinned, black-eyed beauty, 
resolute and uncontrollable. At Daly's request she now 
returned to the stage. She, too, possessed a voice of more 
than ordinary music — not only "an excellent thing in 
woman" but indispensable to complete success on the 
stage. Those familiar with the story will remember the 


incident when to the despairing and disinherited lover 
the new heiress, who once rejected him because of fear of 
his passionate jealousy, now comes full of pity and re- 
kindled love to comfort him ; and to his half-hopeful 
cry, "What, Kate! Poor me — is it possible that you 
would marry me?" answers with indescribable archness: 
"How can I tell till I'm asked !" It is possible that the 
human voice in man and woman may have been so moving 
on the mimic stage before, but the effect of that occasion 
upon a crowded house has surely never been surpassed. 
From this scene to the end interest increased in the lovers, 
who, speedily becoming husband and wife, are as speedily 
estranged by his jealousy, and are only reunited after 
poor Kate has been tried for her life on the charge of 
compassing her husband's death; she is saved by his 
bodily apparition at the last moment in the court-room, 
where he is welcomed by the ringing voice of the Chief 
Justice, "Sir, I am glad to see you." 

The critical appreciation of this play by the leading 
journals was marked : "A marvel of dramatic construc- 
tion. The whole story, without the omission of a single 
important incident, is enacted in three hours, and every 
point of the novel is brought out with startling force. 
The impression left upon the auditor after seeing 'Griffith 
Gaunt' is like to that which remained after witnessing 
the same author's other play, 'Leah the Forsaken,' that 
mixture of sadness and satisfaction, of pain and pleasure, 
which convinces us we have seen a page from nature and 
read a story of human life, human passions and fears." ^ 
The trial scene in the last act, the culmination of sustained 
and painful interest, was conceded to be one of the most 
Impressive of the kind up to that time. The unhappy 
prisoner is heard pleading her cause and examining her 

^ Ewning Post. 


witnesses in person, the rules of the court in those days 
not permitting the indulgence of full counsel to the ac- 

Mr. Charles Reade was told by Mr. H. D. Palmer of 
the success of this dramatization, and he expressed a wish 
to read it. Applications for it came from all quarters. 
The new Bowery Theatre was burned down at five o'clock 
in the afternoon of the day it was to be played there. ^ 
Miss Rachel Denvil was to play Kate and William H. 
Whalley Griffith. 

The dramatic critics of the period were so cordial in 
their praise of Daly's clever work that he could think of 
no better return than to devote the profits of the play 
to a dinner, at which they were all without exception his 

Within a year or two the lease of the New York Theatre 
passed to one William Worrell, formerly a circus acrobat 
or clown, who had saved money, and with the aid of a 
good wife had reared three daughters — Sophia, Irene, 
and Jennie — for the stage. Mr. Daly, having the 
scheme of a new sensational play in his head, offered to 
hire the theatre for a summer season. Even at the pres- 
ent day a New York manager would yield at least half the 
gross receipts for such an enterprise (in which he took no 
risk) ; but the shrewd old circus man, seeing the enthusi- 
asm of young Daly, oiTered him a quarter of the gross and 
it was accepted. 

The play Daly had in mind was to be called "Under 
the Gaslight," and was destined to become immediately 
famous and to hold the stage from that time to the present, 
to be imitated even by Boucicault, the master of stage 
sensation, and to be played in every country under various 
disguises. As we walked home one night, discussing the 

iDec. 1 8, 1866. 


need of a culminating incident, my brother said : "I have 
got the sensation we want — a man fastened to a railroad 
track and rescued just as the train reaches the spot!" 

The class of plays presenting some feature of physical 
peril and rescue were familiar, and usually called in 
disparagement the "sensational drama" — as if every 
great play were not in one sense a sensational drama. 
The murder of Caesar and the harangue of Antony to the 
mob are colossal sensations, as is the Ghost in "Hamlet" 
and the play within the play, and, above all, the scene 
of the attempted mutilation of little Arthur in "King 
John." The screen scene in "The School for Scandal" is 
one of the greatest of sensations. Without some episode 
to hold the spectator in breathless suspense no drama can 
be successful. Whether the effect be produced with or 
without the aid of scenic adjuncts and of action is not 
important. With regard to this new play, the effect was 
wrought by moral agencies which were potent without the 
climax of the visible railroad train. 

On the first night ^ the audience was breathless. In 
spite of many drawbacks, — the insufficiency of the stage, 
the nervousness of the stage hands, and all the accidents 
of a first performance, — the play gained its decisive vic- 
tory. The intensely wrought feelings of the spectators 
found vent in almost hysterical laughter when the "rail- 
road train" parted in the middle and disclosed the iiying 
legs of the human motor who was propelling the first 
half of the express. Had the effect of the scene de- 
pended not upon the suspense and emotion created by 
the whole situation, but upon the machinery, the piece 
had been irretrievably lost; but the real sensation was 
beyond chance of accident. It became the town talk. 
The houses were thronged. An old theatre-goer who 

1 Aug. 12, 1867. 


stood up in the rear of the crowded seats turned to those 
about him after a long-drawn breath and said, "It is 
the chmax of sensation !" So it was, and has so remained. 
The play was not, however, all sensation. S. Weir Roose- 
velt (who was prevented by illness from visiting the 
theatre) read the book, and remarked, "I am glad to 
see that the literary side has not been neglected." He 
took a great interest in my brother's progress ; at this 
time he had retired from the active practice of law to de- 
vote himself with ardor to the duties of Public School 

Again Mr. Daly chose his players wisely : Miss Rose 
Ey tinge {Laura), Mortimer (Smokey, the soldier mes- 
senger), Mrs. Skerrett (Peachblossom, a favorite part 
afterwards with Mrs. John Wood), and Charles T. Parsloe 
(Bermudas the street boy). Daly wanted E. L. Daven- 
port for Byke, a sort of New York Bill Sykes, but had to 
be satisfied with J. B. Studley, who was admirable in it. 
Another accident of the first night was the rather mellow 
condition in which Walsh Edwards came on the bench in 
the courtroom scene as Judge Bowlmg (made up to re- 
semble Judge Dowling) and nearly drove Daly wild with 
his rambling. Judge Dowling next day was good-hu- 
mored over the incident. 

An account of the extraordinary success of the new 
play reached the veteran dramatist Boucicault in London, 
and he immediately appropriated the leading incident 
and reproduced it in a drama of London life called "After 
Dark." With singular fatuity Boucicault sold and Jar- 
rett and Palmer bought the piece for America, and not- 
withstanding the warnings of the American author, whose 
piece was copyrighted, it was presented at Niblo's Gar- 
den. Action for injunction was immediately begun in the 
Federal Court, and the application for an interim writ 


was argued before the late Judge Blatchford. The writ 
was granted, and the management of Niblo's immediately 
made terms, paying Daly a royalty for each performance. 
Daly wished his friend, A. Oakey Hall (then district 
attorney), to undertake the case on his behalf, but the 
following note explained why he was compelled to refuse : 

"My dear Daly 

Can't. Palmer has been my client, — you have been. I 
wouldn't act for him against you — I couldn't act against him 
for you. 

Daly & nightly Yours 
by Gaslight & Otherwise 
O. K. H." 

The choice of counsel being then left to me, I immedi- 
ately selected the late William Tracy, and upon his ad- 
vice retained an advocate of marked literary attainments, 
little known in New York, who had lately come to our Bar 
from Baltimore, where he had an established reputation. 
This was the late Thomas S. Alexander. A more fortu- 
nate selection could not have been made. His clear and 
impressive discussion of the points of the case prevailed 
against the skill of experienced theatrical lawyers, W, D. 
Booth of New York and T. W. Clarke of Boston. 

Not only was "Under the Gaslight" played In every 
city, but for many months the vaudevilllsts, "sketch 
artists," variety performers, and minstrel troupes were 
inventing burlesque "acts" of the railroad scene. These 
travesties were so many evidences of the wide and strong 
impression which the new play had made. From the 
day of its production in 1867 to the present time it has 
continued to hold the stage as a "Peoples' Play," as our 
German friends would style It, and has been played per- 
haps oftener than any other melodrama in the English 


The Worrell sisters got Mr. Daly to dramatize Henry 
Ward Beecher's novel "Norwood," then publishing in 
the New York Ledger, for production on their own ac- 
count. Mr. Robert Bonner, the proprietor of the paper, 
had tempted Mr. Beecher to make this excursion into a 
new field. The dramatization was no better than the 
novel. The only hit was made by the youngest sister. 
Miss Jennie, as The Hardscrahhle Boy, and that only after 
she had vainly expostulated with the author about being 
put in trousers : 

"Boston, Revere House. 
Oct. 21, '67. 
Mr. Daly, 

Dear Sir : I have just received the part, like it very much, 
with one exception and that is wearing the boy's dress all 
through the piece. You know that style of dress is not adapted 
to me but I am willing to play it but am confident I can not do 
it justice never before attempting one of that kind therefore it 
will be very diflScult. I write in the hope that you will contrive 
to have me wear a girl's dress in the first part, then wear the 
bags from the battle scene until the end of the piece. I am cer- 
tain it will not interfere with the text for I have carefully read 
the part over. It is very embarrassing for me but if absolutely 
necessary for it to remain as it is at present I will play it but am 
not responsible for the consequences. I am honorable you see 
to tell you before-hand so you will not be disappointed, but if 
you do me a favor which I shall ever be grateful I shall en- 
deavor to arrange all satisfactory. The girl's dress shall be just 
as you desire if you will only comply with this request and 
answer please as soon as convenient you will greatly oblige 


Jennie C. Worrell 
Please excuse all haste." 

It not being within the range of the adapter's license 
to put Mr. Beecher's tough little boy into skirts, the 


"bags" had to go through the piece, and the Boy and 
Peter carried off the honors in their dialogue on the arts 
of war. 

Daly's last work for the same theatre was a dramatiza- 
tion of Dickens' "Pickwick Papers." ^ It is safe to say 
that nearly every playwright of the period had attempted 
that work. To put it as a whole upon the stage is impos- 
sible ; and to get all the fun there is in it out of it by any 
arrangement of scene is one of the most difficult feats of 
the dramatist's art. It appealed strongly to Daly, and 
he made an exceedingly amusing play of it, casting George 
Clarke as Bob Sawyer (fearfully made up to double the 
"scorbutic youth" of Bob's little party), J. B. Studley as 
Jingle (melodramatic actors always take to the part — 
Henry Irving did afterwards, and was immense in it), 
Parsloe as Sam Weller (and he was excellent), H. C. 
Ryner as Pickwick (a capital makeup), and William 
Carleton as Winkle. Celia Logan was Arabella Allen 
and Jennie Worrell Mary the housemaid. To those who 
have puzzled over the possible arrangement of scenes 
from the varied and extensive pictures between the 
covers of the book, I give Mr. Daly's selection in the 
order presented : 

Act First. The shooting party and elopement at Wardle's in 
Dingley Dell. 
Scene second. The White Horse Inn and Mr. 

Samuel Weller. 
Scene third. At Mrs. Bardell's, Goswell Street. 
Act Second. The Marquis of Granby Inn. Mrs. Weller and 
Mr. Stlggins, the Red-nosed man. 
Scene second. The double-bedded room and the 
adventure of the lady in yellow curl-papers. 
Act Third. The election and riot at Ipswich. 

1 Jan. 22, 1868. 


Scene second. Jingle's adventure at Mayor 

Scene third. The preparation for the trial. 
Scene fourth. Mr. Bob Sawyer's little Party. 
Act Fourth. The great trial of the breach of promise case, 

Bardell versus Pickwick. 
Scene second. The adventure of the Garden 

Scene last. Christmas festivities at Dingley 


Immediately after the production of "Pickwick Papers," 
work was commenced on a new sensational drama, "A 
Flash of Lightning," for a summer season at the Broad- 
way Theatre (the little old house near Broome Street, 
once the scene of Wallack's and Brougham's triumphs, 
and now managed by Barney Williams). The author 
was indebted for the chief incident in his last act to the 
French drama "La Perle Noir," but the plot and char- 
acters were wholly original. There were remarkable 
pictures of the burning of a North River steamboat. 
An inventor told Mr. Daly he had unknowingly disclosed 
a source of danger from steamboat furnaces that was 
commonly overlooked. Going home one night, Mr. Daly 
heard a boyish voice of wonderful power flooding the 
night air with "Garibaldi's Hymn" and "Santa Lucia." 
Tracing the music to a back street, he came upon two little 
Italian wandering minstrels. With his usual enterprise 
he added them and their parent to his collection of human 
documents for his forthcoming play. McKee Rankin 
and his attractive wife, Kitty Blanchard, had two of the 
chief parts, with J. K. Mortimer and Miss Blanche Grey. 

The press was very kind to the new play. With re- 
gard to literary merit it was pronounced "the master 
production of its author." 


Just before the production of his play my brother was 
seized with an attack of illness which threatened to be- 
come dangerous. It began with a succession of violent 
cramps in the stomach. Although he recovered in an 
incredibly short time, he was for many years visited with 
the same symptoms when under great strain of mind or 

Just after the summer season of 1868 Daly's interest 
was enlisted on behalf of an interesting newcomer from 
England. This was Mrs. Scott-Siddons, who came with 
much social prestige and some fame as a Shakespearian 
reader, and who had a stage experience of one season. 
She was said to be a great-niece of the famous Mrs. Sid- 
dons, sister of the Kembles, and was a petite brunette with 
beauty, intelligence, refinement, and charm. Her stage 
voice was a singular one — a sort of musical chant strange 
to the ear, and into which the lines of but one character, 
Rosalind, seemed to fall agreeably. She was not, however, 
the realization of Shakespeare's sprightliest maid in all 
respects, for instead of being "more than common tall" 
she was considerably less, and could no more convincingly 
assume "a swashing and a martial outside" than could 
Ariel or Titania. In fact she was Rosalind played by a 
sprite. She appeared two weeks in December, 1868, at 
the New York Theatre in Rosalind, Juliet, Lady Teazle, 
Julia in "The Hunchback," Katharine, and King Rene's 

The year 1869 opened happily with my brother's mar- 
riage to Miss Mary Duff. This took place on January 
9. His fair and youthful bride was the daughter of 
Mr. John A. DuiT, proprietor of the Olympic Theatre, in 
which he had installed another son-in-law (Mr. James E. 
Hayes) as manager, and which was then the most profit- 
able place of amusement in the city. The bride was 


brought home to our house, No. 214 West 25th Street, 
and there my brother's only children were born, — 
Leonard in 1870 and Francis in 1873. 

The work of dramatic writing went on energetically. 
A version of Sardou's "Nos Bons Villageois" was pre- 
pared for Mr. and Mrs. Conway under the title of "Hazar- 
dous Ground"; a Polish revolutionary drama, "Sanya, 
or the Red Ribbon," was written for Mr. and Mrs. E. E. 
Tiffany, and a sensational play, "The Red Scarf," for 
Miss Sallie Partington, was produced at the Conways' 

One of the oddest commissions ever received by a play- 
wright was from a citizen from the West who came to 
New York with a letter of introduction to Mr. Daly from 
Mr. Mark M. Pomeroy of the Lacrosse Democrat. The 
citizen in question had been engaged in a campaign for 
municipal reform in his town, and had conceived the in- 
genious idea of representing the wicked "combine" of 
the local "boodlers" on the stage. Whether this was an 
effective plan for causing the wicked to flee is a matter of 
opinion. "Grafters" have thick skins and laughter often 
disarms justice. But it was not a bad thought to enlist 
in the effort for reform all the great agencies of good — 
the pulpit, press, and stage; and Daly, working on the 
plot furnished by the amiable reformer, did his utmost 
to make the villains not only hateful, but ridiculous. 
His client was delighted, and afterwards wrote that he 
had been either indicted or sued for damages — I forget 
which. The play was evidently a go ! 

Having given hostages to fortune by his marriage, and 
impelled by his life-long ambition, Augustin determined 
to acquire a theatre of his own and to put into practice 
long-considered theories of management. Suddenly the 
beautiful little theatre in Twenty-fourth Street, which 


James Fisk, Jr., had built for John Brougham, came into 
the market after Brougham had failed as manager, and 
after a season of opera bouflFe, undertaken by Mr. Fisk 
himself, had begun to languish. To this, the most elegant 
playhouse in America, Daniel Harkins, who had un- 
bounded faith in his former manager's ability, directed 
Mr. Daly's attention. 

SECOND PERIOD: 1 869-1 873 


The Fifth Avenue Theatre and Daly's first season. Lease from James 
Fisk, Junior. Six weeks' rent in advance. Father-in-law Duff's 
grim humor. Courage, self-reliance, and ideals. Prospectus. 
Surprises for press and profession. The new company. Well- 
known names. Unknown names. Daly breaks with tradition. 
His own stage director. Opening night. "Play" introduces 
Agnes Ethel. Its successor, "Dreams," introduces James Lewis. 
"London Assurance" introduces Fanny Davenport. Uphill 
work. Undeterred by criticism. "I let tongues wag as they 
please." Mrs. Scott-Siddons' engagement. E. L. Davenport in 
Sir Giles Overreach. Old Comedies and Daly's Saturday nights 
the vogue. Olive Logan's "Surf." Last appearance of the 
veteran George Holland. Effect upon the company of the long 
struggle. All work, all play, and no decisive hit. Twenty-one 
new productions in six months, of which eleven were classics of 
the stage. At last the tide turns. 

To James Fisk, Jr., proprietor of the Fifth Avenue 
Theatre, went the young Augustin to inquire the terms 
for a lease. Fisk was easily found in the offices of the 
Erie Railway Company, which with Jay Gould he con- 
trolled. He probably had never heard of Daly. In 
reply to his question "What security can you give?" 
the answer was "None." "Then," said Fisk, "you must 
pay six weeks' rent in advance. The rent is twenty-five 
thousand dollars a year." The financier estimated from 
experience the lasting powers of the ordinary ambitious 
manager. Singularly enough, six weeks was the length 
of time which Mr. Duff had given his son-in-law "to get 
into the poor-house," as he humorously expressed it when 
informed of the venture. No one would believe at that 
time that Daly was not backed by his father-in-law. 



The impression in the newspaper and theatrical world was, 
as one writer expressed it, that "he would not be per- 
mitted to fail" ; yet it was a fact that this undertaking, 
like all his prior ones, was without a dream of such aid. 

When he returned from his visit to Fisk, he came Imme- 
diately to talk it over with me, — we had been together 
in everything, and we must be together in this. His 
enthusiasm was unbounded: "it was folly to stop and 
count the cost, much less the risk. The talented and 
experienced Brougham had failed here, but Brougham had 
failed in his theatre on Broadway in 185 1, and Wallack, 
who succeeded him, had made a brilliant success. If you 
pause to consider the chances of failure, you will never 
accomplish anything. Here was opportunity." There 
was no dross of material consideration that was not con- 
sumed in the flame of his desire to work out his ideals. 
The next day he waited upon Fisk with a check. The 
stupefaction of the Erie magnate was noticeable. He 
looked at the slip of paper for some moments, and then 
remarked, "This is the first man with money I have 
ever seen in the theatrical business!" A lease for two 
years was duly drawn and executed, and the young 
manager with swelling heart unlocked the doors of the 
theatre and surveyed the property which was now his 
own. As he said, "I went upon the stage and felt as 
one who treads the deck of a ship as its master." His 
prospectus was startling : "The production of whatever 
is novel, original, entertaining and unobjectionable, and 
the revival of whatever Is rare and worthy, in the legiti- 
mate drama." Considering the reputation of Wallack's, 
then in its prime, for classic comedy, the Intention of the 
new manager seemed audacious, even reprehensible, In 
view of possible Injury to the old masters in crude at- 
tempts to restore them. 


His list of engagements added to the wonder. There 
were E. L. Davenport, a tragic star, but one of the most 
versatile actors on the boards ; William Davidge, a 
veteran of the old flavor, who never failed to make his 
appearance in the mixed companies hastily gathered for 
occasional revivals of old comedy or attempts at modern 
burlesque, but a reliable standby all the same ; George 
Holland, who had grown so old that he was retired from. 
Wallack's, but not from the aff"ections of the public; J. 
B. Peck, who had been one of Wallack's young men ; D. 
H. Harkins, who had supported Forrest ; and George 
Clarke, a handsome youth beginning to win favor. On 
the ladies' side were Mrs. Clara Jennings, formerly leading 
woman at Wallack's ; Mrs. Marie Wilkins from the 
London stage ; Mrs. G. H. Gilbert, fondly remembered 
as the Marquise St. Maur in "Caste" and the Indian 
schoolmarm in "Pocahontas"; and Mrs. Chanfrau, the 
beautiful Esther Eccles. Among the unknown names were 
Fanny Davenport and Agnes Ethel. There was another 
— James Lewis. ^ What Daly was to do with a burlesque 
performer (he had been last seen as Lucrezia Borgia) 
no one knew. Robert Stoepel, a well-known composer, 
was to conduct the orchestra. William Saunders, a 
veteran stage carpenter, was machinist. The scenic 
artists promised well : James Roberts and Charles 

It was apparent at once that the newcomer intended 
to restore forgotten and discarded personalities as well as 
to bring forward unfriended youth. It seemed to old 
professionals that his force covered a wide range, but that 
there were many "lines" vacant. But here came the sur- 

^ Others were Amy Ames, Roberta Norwood, Marie Longmore, Emilie Kiehl, 
Emily Lewis, Misses Tyson and Rowland, J. F. Egbert, George Jordan, Jr., 
F. Chapman, W. Beekman, H. C. Ryner, H. Stewart, J. M. Cooke, and Messrs. 
Pierce and Peck. 


prise. His purpose was to break away from tradition ; 
to free actors from the trammels of " lines " into which they 
had settled as in a groove. It was with a great wrench 
that the old favorites were pried out of the rut, but the 
result was soon a mobile force, adaptable and creative. 
He astonished his players by throwing them into parts for 
which they thought they had no fitness. They were one 
day dejected over their tasks, and the next elated with the 
success they had achieved. To do this all tradition had to 
be washed out and all rank levelled. In his engagements 
there was one rule : "My line," began the veteran, "is — " 
Mr. Daly interrupted gently : "There is no line in 
this theatre; you do everything." It was revolutionary 
but successful. Then the dignity of the profession was 
secured by impartial rules. The humblest personage had 
rights equal to the favorites of the public. All could 
come to the manager with a grievance. From the begin- 
ning he got the reputation of an unyielding disciplinarian, 
but if he was rigid with others, he also sacrificed himself. 
It was soon seen that no one else could do so much with 
men and women of the stage as he. 

In this first season's company were two young women 
of whom, as of others, it has been customary to say that 
Daly found them inexperienced beginners and made them 
famous actresses. They were Miss Davenport and Miss 
Ethel. Fanny Vining (or Davenport, when she took 
her stepfather's name) came of an old theatrical family. 
She joined the company with Mr. Davenport in her nine- 
teenth year, and notwithstanding her rawness the first 
part given her was a leading one in old comedy. When 
she was announced for Lady Gay Spanker in "London 
Assurance," an indignant editor called it New York as- 
surance. Yet she ultimately became the best Lady Gay 
of her time. What Daly saw in her besides dazzling 

Fanny Davenport 


beauty, splendid presence, and blooming health were 
confidence and self-possession. They were remarkably 
tested in another early part — that of Countess W Autreval 
in "Checkmate, or a Duel in Love," a one-act version of 
Scribe's "La Bataille des Dames," in which she had to 
be substituted for Mrs. Chanfrau at a few hours' notice 
and with only one rehearsal. On the first night, owing to 
an unlucky slip of memory of one of the actors, the lines 
and business of the play fell into the utmost confusion, 
and the whole comedy would have been wrecked if Miss 
Davenport had not with the greatest presence of mind and 
inspiriting force caught up the threads of the dialogue, 
restored the cues, skilfully interwoven them, and rallied 
the actors ; until, without the audience perceiving the least 
halt, the performance passed to a triumphant conclusion. 

Agnes Ethel, a few years older than Fanny Davenport, 
was a pupil of Matilda Heron, and was brought out, a 
few months before Daly engaged her, in the small theatre 
of the Union League Club, then in Twenty-sixth Street. 
Her part was Camille, of which she was not an ideal. rep- 
resentative. What the audience saw was a slender figure, 
candid eyes, flowing auburn hair, an oval face, and regular 
features always lit up by an expression of childish appeal. 
These and a low voice of penetrating quality dwelt in the 
public memory from the moment she appeared on the 
Fifth Avenue stage. Her gifts were not varied or marked, 
but she filled the eye and the ear so completely that no 
one asked for more. 

But the most striking revelation of adaptability was in 
the modestly announced "Mr. James Lewis." A very 
young man who had made in a small way some acceptable 
appearances in brief seasons of burlesque and extrav- 
aganza, he was given, in the first two seasons at this 
theatre, a range of parts in which the ordinary lines of 


theatrical business were so crossed and opposed as to 
bewilder the most experienced professionals of the period. 
Through the range of low comedy, high comedy, "juve- 
niles," and "first old men" Lewis moved with equal 
facility. In the first season he played the cheeky young 
shopman John Hibbs in "Dreams," and the mature and 
eccentric Baron de Cambri in " Frou-Frou." In the second 
season he was the elderly and dignified Sir Patrick Lundie 
in "Man and Wife," and the flighty young Bob Sackett in 
"Saratoga." Between these he was Marplot in the 
"Busybody," Feste in "Twelfth Night," and Major de 
Boots — and excellent in all. Tradition was routed in 
the case of Lewis. 

For stage manager the choice fell upon Harkins, an 
actor of experience, heavy build, and forcible manner, 
with a voice of remarkable resonance that made his 
utterance of Shakespeare's lines delightful. He was well 
read, and possessed an energy and zeal which often re- 
quired to be kept in check. He was greatly elated over 
his appointment as stage manager of such a company in 
such a theatre, and he immediately proceeded to lay down 
his course with great clearness to his manager: "I tell 
you my policy, Mr. Daly — when I am on the stage I 
permit no one to interfere with me." "Just my policy, 
Harkins," said Mr. Daly smilingly. "When I am on the 
stage I permit no one to interfere with me!'''' This pro- 
duced an excellent understanding, which was never 
interrupted. There was no vanity in this policy of Daly's ; 
he was absolutely free from that weakness. When he 
took the Fifth Avenue Theatre, the initials of the former 
manager John Brougham adorned the summit of the pro- 
scenium arch, and they were never removed. 

One special gift of Daly remains to be noticed — that 
of prompt decision, which doubles the value of every 


other gift. By reason of it men are singled out from the 
ranks in great industries and put in command. By it pro- 
fessional men achieve in law, in medicine, in the sciences, 
reputation and fortune. I once said to my brother 
in discussing his swiftness of decision, "But you make 
mistakes."*" "Yes," he replied, "perhaps in half the 
cases ; but that is the average of the people who stop to 
weigh every consideration ; and I have this advantage 
over them — I don't lose an opportunity." 

The beginning of a new era in American stage history 
was the night of August 16, 1869, when the Fifth Avenue 
Theatre was opened "under the management of Augustin 
Daly" with T. W. Robertson's "Play." This gossamer 
comedy, presented with all that was delicately harmonious 
in personages, dress, and scenery, created at once the 
atmosphere that was henceforth to be familiar in this 
house. The little Fifth Avenue Theatre, far out of the 
zone of theatres, was about half filled on that mid- 
summer night, but the audience was of the kind that never 
afterwards changed in its appreciation of what was now 
doing for the elevation of the stage. The bright and 
happy faces on the stage were those of Agnes Ethel, Mrs. 
Jennings, Mrs. Gilbert, E. L. Davenport, Flolland, 
Davidge, Clarke, and Polk. Davenport's grand presence 
lent dignity to the slight part of the Hon. Bruce Farquhar, 
and the alluring presence of Agnes Ethel as Rosie capti- 
vated the senses. 

The same cast presented Robertson's "Dreams" on 
September 6 ; James Lewis was now introduced as the 
commercial traveller John Hibbs. All the characters in 
the play had a descriptive couplet on the programme, 
and Lewis' was appropriately : 

"We meet thee like a pleasant thought 
When such are needed." 


In his next part, Bob in "Old Heads and Young Hearts," 
a valet masquerading as a limb of the law, he displayed 
for the first time his genius for "making up" by giving 
a startling (and probably accidental) imitation of the 
crabbed countenance of a well-known New York lawyer 
of the old school, then still in practice. 

Miss Davenport made her debut in the next production, 
"London Assurance." Mr. Davenport's Sir Harcourt 
Courtly was the finest representation of the part ever 
seen in New York, consummately polished, blase, arrogant, 
and infatuated. Miss Davenport played with high spirit 
and confidence, and was approved by her manager, for 
she came up to his ideal of the part. It has ruined many 
a Lady Gay to be too sophisticated. Miss Davenport's 
brusque cajolery was exactly in place. What the critics 
thought did not change the manager's opinion. He had 
the indispensable gift of disregarding criticism when he 
felt he was right. He was not indifferent to it, was 
indeed extremely sensitive to the mildest censure ; yet 
he was not deterred by it. He adopted as his motto a 
line from Goethe: "What I have done I have done in a 
kingly fashion. I let tongues wag as they pleased. 
That I knew to be right, that I did." 

The dainty Mrs. Scott-Siddons was next brought on 
in a fresh and buoyant production of "Twelfth Night," 
the first Shakespearian revival of the Daly management. 
Her Viola was supported by Miss Ethel's Olivia^ Miss 
Davenport's Maria, Harkins' Orsino, Davidge's Sir 
Toby, Polk's Sir Andrew, Clarke's Malvolio, and Lewis' 
Clown} Polk was one of the best and least exaggerated 
of AguecheekSj and Davidge a perfect Sir Toby in manner 

^ Oct. 4, 1869. The remainder of the cast included Chapman as Fabian, 
Ryner as Antonio, Egbert as Sebastian, Pierce as the Friar, Cooke as Roberto, 
Beekman as the Justice, Jordan as Valentine, and Stewart as Curio. 


and looks. "As You Like It" followed, and the sing- 
song of Mrs. Scott-Siddons was like the carol of a bird in 
the forest of Arden. Mrs. Jennings was Celia on the first 
night, and they exchanged parts from night to night. 
Young Clarke was a romantic Orlando, and Harkins' fine 
and distinct declamation was enjoyed in Jaques. Davidge 
was the Touchstone in those days ; Lewis' fine Jester was 
to come with experience.^ Mrs. Siddons was presented 
in three other revivals before the termination of her 
visit: Henrik Hertz' "King Rene's Daughter," ^ 
Gibber's "She Would and She Would Not, "^ and "Much 
Ado about Nothing," ^ the third Shakespearian revival 
by Daly. Mrs. Scott-Siddons was then in her twenty-fifth 
year, and full of a demure vitality. Not great in any 
part, she was charming in everything. Her Hypolita in 
Gibber's play (not seen in New York since 1858) was 
supported by Glarke's Don Philip, Davidge's Don Manuel, 
Harkins' Don Octavio, Lewis' Trapanti, George Hol- 
land's Diego, Miss Ethel's Donna Rosara, Miss Daven- 
port's Violetta, and Miss Longmore's Flora. Equally 
strong was the cast of "Much Ado about Nothing." 
Mrs. Siddons was, of course, Beatrice (rather a spirited 
child than a woman), Harkins Benedick, Polk Don Pedro, 
Egbert Don John, F. H. Evans Claudio, Glarke Leonato, 
Ryner Antonio, Pierce Balthazar, Ghapman Borachio, 
Stewart Conrade, Davidge Dogberry, Holland Verges, 
Beekman Sexton, Beneux Seacoal, Jordan Friar Francis, 
Miss Ethel Hero, Miss Kiehl Margaret, and Miss Lewis 

1 The rest of the cast, Oct. i8, 1869, was: Banished Duke, Polk; Duke 
Frederick, Cooke; Amiens, Stewart; Oliver, Jordan; Jaques de Bois, Pierce; 
Adam, Ryner; Charles, the Wrestler, Feck; Sy/czM/, Egbert; Corzw, Chapman ; 
William, Beekman; and Audrey, Mrs. Wilkins. 

2 Oct. 22, 1869. 

3 Oct. 25, 1869. 
^Nov. 8, 1869. 


Ursula. During the Siddons season there was a revival 
of Sheridan Knowles' "Love Chase," to afford Mrs. 
Wilkins an appearance in Widozv Green, a part which she 
had quite made her own in England. She was assisted 
by Miss Ethel as Constance, Davidge as Fondlove, Clarke 
as Wildrake, and Harkins as Waller; but the comedy 
proved to be too antiquated to please.^ 

The departure of Mrs. Siddons (upon a theatrical tour) 
seemed to affect the public, for there was a falling off of 
patronage at once, although "Caste" was revived 2 
to give Mrs. Chanfrau in her lovely portraiture of Esther 
Eccles,^ and "A New Way to Pay Old Debts" was put 
on to show a great representation — Davenport's Sir 
Giles Overreach.'^ Then in rapid succession came Pal- 
grave Simpson's "Second Love," ^ Sterling Coyne's 
"Everybody's Friend,"^ and Scribe's "Checkmate" 
(which has already been noticed). After that came a 
notable revival, Mrs. Inchbald's "Wives as They Were 
and Maids as They Are, " for the first time in thirty years ; 
then Andrew Halliday's "Daddy Gray," Boucicault's 
"The Irish Heiress," and Scribe's "Don Cesar de Bazan." 
In the hope of stimulating the public fancy, an elaborate 
production of "The Duke's Motto," a brilliant attraction 
a few years before at Niblo's, was staged ; and then Mrs. 
Centlivre's "Busybody." The last was one of the plays 
that now began to make Daly's Saturday nights famous. 
His constant patrons acquired the habit of ending the week 
at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, but something more was 
needed to establish the new enterprise. 

Some hopes were based upon Mrs. Olive Logan Sike's' 
"Surf," which was an "up to date" comedy of American 

iQct. 22, 1869. 2 Nov. 15, 1869. 

3 With Miss Davenport as Polly, Mrs. Gilbert as Marquise D'Alroy, Lewis 
as Gerridgf, Polk as Hawtrey, and the inimitable Eccles of Davidge. 

«Nov. 23, 1869. ^Nov. 12, 1869. «Nov. 25, 1869. 


life and had been a success in Boston. But the only event- 
ful episode of its production was the breakdown of poor 
George Holland. He was cast for Mr. Jenkins, a news- 
paper reporter, and he appeared on the opening night, 
January 12, 1870, for the last time in any performance. 
His final appearance in public was to say farewell at the 
benefit given him at the theatre by Mr. Daly. 

As the season wore on the manager began to look for 
an attraction which would last longer than three weeks 
and give his company a rest from incessant rehearsals. 
Twenty-one plays had been produced in six months, and 
even the mechanics were worn out. When "The Duke's 
Motto" with its elaborate setting was brought out, old 
Saunders threw himself exhausted upon a pile of scenery, 
and had to be comforted by his tireless manager. The 
continuous change of plays kept the company at rehearsal 
all day and often after midnight. This was nothing, 
however, to the young and the young in spirit. Health, 
hope, buoyancy of heart carried them over all the dis- 
appointments. There was always some incident to laugh 
over, some trifling mishap, some misadventure turned to 
merriment; then the stage was cleared for another effort, 
and the feet of youth, which always tread upon air, tripped 
Hghtly after their untiring leader, who, as everyone knew, 
labored longer and harder than any one else, and got no 
salary, not even his expenses. He came to the theatre 
in the morning before the night watchman left, and he 
was the last at night upon whom the key was turned. He 
spent nothing upon himself. All that came in went 
upon the stage. The scenery was exquisite, the dresses 
costly, the furniture real. Everything done on the stage 
was done admirably, and satisfied the discerning portion 
of the community that came to see ; but the great crowds 
that make success had not found their way there. So far 
all had been struggle — now came reward. 


"Frou-Frou" turns the tide. Makes Agnes Ethel. Supper on the 
hundredth night. "Fernande," and Fanny Morant's great part. 
The Fifth Avenue Theatre now established. Its social character. 
Tribute to Daly by Dorman B. Eaton. Rigid rule excluding visi- 
tors from the stage. "Man and Wife" dramatized by Daly intro- 
duces Clara Morris. She makes her mark, and so do Lewis and 
Mrs. Gilbert. Agnes Ethel as Viola and Knowles' Julia. Third 
success, Bronson Howard's "Saratoga." Miss Morris in farce. 
Supper on the hundredth night. Boucicault's "Jezebel" and 
Daly's addition to it. Engagement of Charles Mathews. Break- 
fast to Mathews. "No Name." Fanny Davenport sacrifices 
beauty to wit. Outside work. "Horizon" written for the Olym- 
pic and Mr. DufF. Daly brings out Madame Janauschek in Eng- 
lish. His project to dramatize "The Mystery of Edwin Drood." 
Charles Collins' opinion. "Divorce" by Daly a record success. 
"Article 47." Clara Morris reaches the high water mark of her 
fame. Retirement of Agnes Ethel. Excursion to Philadelphia. 

At this time appeared in Paris Meilhac and Halevy's 
emotional play "Frou-Frou." Their names had been asso- 
ciated with opera bouffe, and a serious play was the last 
thing expected from them. "Frou-Frou" quite sup- 
planted Dumas' "Dame aux Camelias," but was unlike 
that morbid tale; it dealt with a life warmed by the sun, 
in which goodly vines flourish that the little foxes gnaw — 
in which the small passions make havoc like a tempest. 
A child-wife, impetuous, spoiled, installing her staid sister 
by the family hearth as mother to her child and companion 
to her husband, so that she herself may flit about In free- 
dom ; then waking to the bitter reality that she Is sup- 
planted ; loading the Innocent with reproaches; and. 

Agnes Kthkl 


maddened by the consequences of her own folly, casting 
herself away — to repent, to return, to die, — such was the 
story of "Frou-Frou." 

The adaptation was completed in three days, and the 
play given to the public on the evening of February 12, 
1870, In Paris, at the Gymnase, Mme. Desclee, an expe- 
rienced actress of great emotional power, created the part 
of the heroine ; Daly gave it to the novice. Miss Ethel. 
His judgment was abundantly justified. The naivete of 
the beginner gave reality to the thoughtlessness of the 
character. Dramatic force was wanting, but there was 
the effect of a searching cry from a weak and despairing 
heart. The forgiveness of the husband had the full 
sympathy of the beholders, who found themselves like 
him contemplating a creature blown about by the wind, 
whose feet were never made to wear out the everlasting 
flint.^ The play was an unquestioned success. It 
became the town talk, and everybody crowded to the 
Fifth Avenue Theatre. Daly had justified prediction. 
James Fisk, Jr. looked as if he felt that his sagacity in 
leasing the theatre to the untried manager had been 
vindicated, and even old Mr. Duff wore a sort of "I told 
you so" expression 

To celebrate the hundredth performance Daly gave a 
supper at the St. James Hotel, at which the whole com- 
pany of the theatre was present, together with Judge John 
R. Brady (presiding), Richard O'Gormon, Judge Fithian, 
Lawrence Jerome, and Mayor Hall. After the run of 
"Frou-Frou" there was a brief revival of Goldsmith's 

1 The cast was excellent. Young Clarke was Sartorys, the husband ; Kate 
Newton (her debut) Louise, the sister; Davidge, the frivolous parent Brigard; 
Lewis and Mrs. Gilbert Baron and Baroness de Cambri; the child of Frou-Frou 
was little Gertrude, daughter of Roberta Norwood ; Miss Davenport consented 
to play the maid, Pauline, — a great sacrifice for Lady Gay and the Baroness 
D^ AubrevaL 


"Good-natured Man"; ^ and then Sardou's "Fernande," 
another Parisian novelty, was brought out ^ with the same 
artists, and with the addition of Miss Fanny Morant, whose 
powerful impersonation of Clothilde, the woman scorned who 
became a fury, was magnetic in the highest degree. The 
new play terminated the season, — one of forty-eight weeks, 
and unsurpassed in a theatre devoted to legitimate enter- 

The ambition of the manager had been fulfilled. He 
had established a theatre where plays new and old could 
be fittingly presented, and to which young and old could 
resort with confidence. The home-like atmosphere re- 
mained with Daly's Theatre throughout his career. A 
rigid rule of the manager was that no person was to be 
admitted behind the scenes who was not engaged in the 
business of the stage. When his lease came to be renewed 
the following year, his landlord proposed a clause giving 
the lessor "free access to all parts of the theatre at all 
times." Daly refused, and the clause was omitted. 

The Fifth Avenue Theatre and Daly's reputation as 
manager were now established. The popularity of his 
company in the eyes of other managers was attested by the 
successful efforts of Wallack to withdraw George Clarke 
from it. But this defection was only for one season. He 
soon returned. 

rlays were offered by well-known writers : one was a 
drama by Bret Harte ; and Laura Keene was anxious to 
come and play a new local piece in a theatre managed by 
"an American author brim full of genius." But Daly's 
energies were now bent upon a congenial task — the 
dramatization of the great novel of the period, Wilkie 
Collins' "Man and Wife" ; Collins himself had attempted 
the task for the London stage, but had failed completely. 

1 April 24, 1870. ^ June 7, 1870. 


The work presented enormous difficulties. In tlie last 
act, incidents which take up six weeks of time and many 
changes of locality had to be crowded into a single scene 
and half an hour. It was the opening piece of the next 
season,^ and gave Miss Clara Morris her first opportunity. 

Miss Morris and her mother had come from the West 
with letters to New York managers. Mr. Daly was the 
only one to give the friendless stranger a chance. Im- 
pressed at first by her vivacity, he mentally enrolled her 
in his comic forces ; but when, to his astonishment, Miss 
Ethel refused the part of Anne Sylvester in "Man and 
Wife," he recalled the mobile countenance and impressive 
voice of Miss Morris, and intrusted that leading role to 
her. The result was that the first night of the new play 
presented to a deeply interested audience another of Mr. 
Daly's discoveries. But Miss Morris was but one of 
several surprises of that eventful premiere. Lewis, the 
farceur, was the dignified, keen, and benevolent Sir Patrick 
Lundie, and immediately became a favorite. This was 
one of Daly's most daring defiances to theatrical rules — 
to give the low comedian a role naturally falling to the 
"first old man" or the "pere noble." The third surprise 
was the appearance of the aristocratic dowager, Mrs. 
Gilbert, in the weird part of the pretended dumb woman, 
Hester Dethridge. It was a night of triumph for the 

After ten weeks' run a season of old comedy and Shake- 
speare followed. No one now doubted the capacity of 
the new theatre for a brilliant and unconventional inter- 
pretation of the classics. In "Twelfth Night" Miss 
Ethel was Viola,'' and in "The Hunchback" Julia} "The 
Heir at Law" introduced Mrs. William Winter to the 
stage.^ Davidge was Sir Harcourt Courtly in a revival of 

1 Sept. 13, 1870. 2 Nov. 21, 1870. 3 Dec. 12, 1870. ''Dec. 22, 1870. 


"London Assurance," and Malvolio in "Twelfth Night." 
A one-time favorite, lone Burke, was added to the com- 
pany and played Grace Harkaway in the style of an 
ingenue and with the experience of some years in England. 
Then Mr. Daly had the pleasure of giving a young Ameri- 
can author his opportunity. 

Bronson Howard had written to Mr. Daly a year before, 
asking him to read a new comedy which had had a test 
performance in Louisville under J. W. Albaugh, who had 
praised it highly. Daly read it and made several sugges- 
tions to Howard, who was quick to appreciate their 
value and able to make the best use of them. With 
"Saratoga" he at length gave to the stage one of the 
liveliest and freshest comedies of the period. Miss 
Morris shone in a comedy part as conspicuously as in 
that deadly earnest one of Anne Sylvester. The manager's 
first as well as his second estimate of her abilities was 
correct. And now Lewis was back again in farce, rattling, 
in Boh Sackett, through a wilderness of scrapes ; Bob 
Sackett is the hero of "Saratoga." Delighted with 
Howard's success, Daly gave him a supper on the hun- 
dredth night, at which Mayor Hall presided, assisted by 
Robert B. Roosevelt (then member of Congress from 
New York), John Brougham, Colonel Knox, Joseph 
Howard, Jr., many representatives of the press, and the 
whole company of Daly's Theatre. 

After the long run of Howard's play, Boucicault's 
"Jezebel" (from the French of Lessiere's "La Fille du 
Sud ") was produced, and to lighten its gloom Daly wrote 
a comic scene for it, which the press (not in the author's 
confidence) pronounced to be "in Boucicault's best vein" ! 
The next novelty was a season of Charles Mathews 
after an absence of years. Mathews was one of the 
bright recollections of Daly's boyhood. His seventy 


years were only disclosed by his wrinkles, his step and 
spirit were young, and he walked jauntily to rehearsals in 
the morning, smoking the longest, strongest, brownest, 
and most highly flavored of Regalias. He had been thirty- 
five years on the stage, which he adopted only in middle 
life, having been intended by his father, the famous come- 
dian, for the profession of architect. In the preceding 
season in England he had toured nine months, playing 
in forty-one one-night stands and in thirty-one places for 
two nights each. He now turned up as gay as ever for 
his third visit to America, accompanied by his wife, 
Lizzie Weston of New York, whose first husband was 
Adolphus Davenport, 

Mathews' opening bill ^ was (as always) "Married 
for Money" and "Patter vs. Clatter," and he wrote from 
San Francisco in advance, referring to terms (half the 
receipts after ^500), describing the dramatis personse of 
the first piece (which Daly knew by heart) and how to cast 
it (which Daly also knew as well as he did), and begging 
that he be announced "as 'Mr. C. M., the celebrated 
(or distinguished) English comedian,' — nothing more. 
And I have a horror of 'gags' (which, by the bye, I 
believe you have the good taste to avoid also)." The 
new manager's principles in the latter regard had already 
become the talk of the theatrical world. "Gags" are 
those interpolations with which privileged comic actors 
enliven the author's composition. 

Mrs. Gilbert was Mrs. Mopus to Mathews' Mopus, and 
Miss Kate Claxton, now a member of the company, was 
one of the mute performers in the second piece, in which 
the star did all the talking. He played eight weeks in 
eleven pieces, including "A Bachelor of Arts" and "Used 
Up " (favorites of Lester Wallack) ; and the gossamer 

' April 10, 1871. 


daintiness of the first made even the lightest light comedy 
of the other seem ponderous ; yet both were perfect. 
Mrs. Mathews appeared, for the first time in New York 
since she had become Mrs. Mathews, as Medea in Planche's 
extravaganza of that name — no longer the slender 
Naiad Queen. Mathews was Chorus crowned with bays,. 
in a short white toga over evening dress. He was a 
martinet at rehearsals, going through his own lines in a 
whisper, but advising "a judicious application of the 
toasting fork to all the dram, pers." 

Mayor Hall gave a breakfast to Mathews at the Man- 
hattan Club at which Sunset Cox, Evert Duyckinck, 
James W. Gerard (one of the leaders of the Bar), Chief 
Justice Charles P. Daly, managers Wallack and Augustin 
Daly, Lester Wallack, John Gilbert, and Brougham were 
present. The Chief Justice asked Wallack if he had ever 
met the celebrated Irish comedian, Jack Johnstone. 
"Yes," said Wallack, "I married his daughter; and 
there [pointing to Lester] is her son." Brougham sat 
next to me, and the conversation in a little while turned 
upon spiritual manifestations. Brougham asked me if 
I believed that at any time in the history of mankind the 
spirits of the departed had ever appeared to the living. 
"I have lain awake," he said, "in my bed at night many 
a time and have stretched out my hand in the darkness, 
saying, 'If there is such a thing as a disembodied spirit, 
let it make me sensible of its presence by touching my 
hand ! ' And there was no response." 

No one could ever have been a greater stage favorite 
than Brougham. From the time of his first appearance 
in New York in 1842 until his death in 1880 he was con- 
tinually before the public. Some years after the Mathews' 
breakfast, and when the veteran Brougham was afflicted 
with years and ailments (1878), a public benefit was 


arranged for him which netted about $10,000. It was 
invested in an annuity which he enjoyed only two years, 
when he was taken away "in the next shipment of souls." 
He wrote more than fifty plays — among them dramatiza- 
tions of the early works of Dickens — and innumerable 
songs and ballads introduced into the works of others. 
Taken all in all he was the most agreeable actor of his 
time, and one of the most intelligent. His Sir Lucius 
0^ Trigger was a revelation. At the close of Mathews' 
engagement he played Sheridan's "Critic" in two acts, 
so as to show his Sir Fretful Plagiary as well as his Puff, 
making the change of costume — from the rubicund, 
powdered, gartered, choleric knight to the cool, well- 
groomed dramatist — in an incredibly short time, I 
should think not over half a minute. 

After Mathews, Wilkie Collins' and Daly's adaptation 
of "No Name" was brought out ^ with all the company 
in the cast, and with Miss Davenport masking her glowing 
beauty in the role of the frowsy, chalk-faced, slipshod 
and half-cracked Mrj. Captain Wragge. "Delmonico's,'* 
an adaptation from Sardou, came next,^ and finally, as 
late as July 10 (another prolonged season, but there 
was no Manhattan Beach in those days, the public taking 
their ease in summer gardens, listening to Theodore 
Thomas' orchestra) "An Old Olympic Bill" was given, 
such a night's frolic as William Mitchell used to offer his 
patrons twenty years before, at the toy theatre on Broad- 
way below Grand Street. One of his greatest hits was the 
Crummies episode from "Nicholas Nickleby." Daly now 
reproduced it from the original Mss. Davidge was 
Crummies, Mrs. Gilbert The Infant Phenomenon, and 
James Lewis The Savage. Mrs. Gilbert's ballet was inim- 
itable. On July 15, 1871, after a season of three hun- 

* June 7, 1871. 2 June 20, 1871. 


dred and fifteen performances, the company was allowed 
to rest. 

If we fancy that the work of this season afforded all the 
employment needed for the energies of the manager and 
dramatist, we shall be surprised to learn that he wrote, 
rehearsed, and produced ^ for his father-in-law, Mr. Duff, 
at the Olympic Theatre an original American drama, 
"Horizon," lending Agnes Ethel for the heroine Meddie, 
who, as fair and frail as a lily, handled a rifle and kept a 
score of savages at bay. This was in the third act, the 
climax of which was the startling ruse by which the 
Indians captured the stockade in which the families of the 
settlers were gathered. The drama was a picture of life 
on the border and the plains. A. M. Palmer said to me 
years afterwards: "'Horizon' was the best American 
play I have ever seen ; more than that, it was the best 
play your brother ever wrote ; and it was the least appre- 
ciated by the public." G. L. Fox, J. K. Mortimer, Charles 
Wheatleigh, Hart Conway, Mrs. Prior and her daughter 
Lulu, Mrs. Yeamans and her daughter Jennie, with many 
others, were in the cast. 

Daly wrote this play to help the fading fortunes of the 
once popular Olympic Theatre, which Fox in "Humpty 
Dumpty" had crowded for two years, but which the re- 
ceding stream of population was now leaving high and 
dry. Duff had invested a huge sum in the purchase of the 
decree of foreclosure which cut off the builder Trimble ; but 
through some oversight final judgment was not entered, 
and when the property became exceedingly valuable in 
Duff's hands, the creditors of Trimble (revived by an astute 
attorney) were allowed to redeem, and Duff had to account 
for the profits. Only once after this did Daly produce 
a play on the Olympic stage. This was in 1879, and the 

1 March 25, 1871. 


play "L'AssommoIr," when Miss Rehan, a beginner, came 
to his management. 

Daly's fame now brought him ^ from Mr. Thomas 
Carnegie an offer (which he had to decline) to manage a 
new opera house, or theatre, at Pittsburgh. A congenial 
task for him this year was to take charge of Madame 
Janauschek's debut in English. This was at the Academy 
of Music, in Mosenthal's "Deborah" and in "Macbeth." 
The company he selected for her comprised Frederic 
Robinson, Mark Smith, A. H. Davenport, Mrs. DeVere, 
Mme. Lesderniers, and Miss Ames. 

Still another project was to compose and produce a 
dramatization of the lamented Dickens' unfinished "Mys- 
tery of Edwin Drood." Assuming that the author must 
have left some clue to the "mystery," our playwright 
wrote to young Charles Dickens, who stated in reply that 
it was as great a mystery to him as to the public at large. 
Daly wrote to Mr. Luke Fildes, the illustrator of the novel, 
and Mr. Fildes referred him to Mr. Charles Collins, the 
artist (son-in-law of the author), who had designed the 
cover. Mr. Collins obligingly replied : 

"Brompton, May 4, 1871. 
Dear Sir : — 

The late Mr. Dickens communicated to me some general out- 
lines for his scheme of 'Edwin Drood,' but it was at a very 
early stage in the development of the idea, and what he said 
bore mainly upon the earlier portions of the tale. 

Edwin Drood was never to reappear^ he having been murdered 
by Jasper. The girl Rosa not having been really attached to 
Edwin, was not to lament his loss very long, and was, I believe, 
to admit the sailor Mr. Tartar to supply his place. It was in- 
tended that Jasper himself should urge on the search after Edwin 
Drood and the pursuit of his murderer, thus endeavoring to direct 

1 March, 1871. 


suspicion from himself, the real murderer. This is indicated 
in the design, on the right side of the cover, of the figures hurry- 
ing up the spiral staircase emblematical of a pursuit. They are 
led on by Jasper who points unconsciously to his own figure in 
the drawing at the head of the title. The female figure at the 
left of the cover reading the placard 'Lost' is only intended to 
illustrate the doubt entertained by Rosa Budd as to the fate 
of her lover Drood. The group beneath it indicates the accept- 
ance of another suitor. 

As to any theory further it must be purely conjectural. It 
seems likely that Rosa would marry Mr. Tartar and possible 
that the same destiny might await Mr. Crisparkle and Helena 
Landless. Young Landless himself was to die perhaps, and 
Jasper certainly would, though whether by falling into the hands 
of justice or by suicide or through taking an overdose of opium, 
which seems most likely, it is impossible to say. 

I regret not being able to offer you more information and also 
that your letter should have remained so long unanswered. 

Very faithfully yours, 

Charles Allston Collins." 

Disappointed in his search for authentic matter to 
supply a conclusion for the unfinished work, Daly con- 
sidered the possibility of inventing one himself. His 
theory was that the conscience of Jasper might induce 
him to betray himself in sleep. At that period the 
French drama, "Le Juif Polonais " (which Henry Irving 
afterwards brought out under the name of "The Bells"), 
had just been produced, and the dream scene of the second 
act suggested a nightmare to result in a confession by the 
culprit. The work, being laid aside for the moment, was 
not taken up after the production of "The Bells." The 
manager had become engaged upon one of his most cele- 
brated original plays, with which he decided to open his 
third season.^ This was "Divorce," the first American 

» 1871-1872. 


drama on the subject. When the dissolution of the 
marriage bond was legalized in France, the dramatic 
authors there appreciated the value of the new condi- 
tions for theatrical purposes, chiefly in the humorous 
way. But it was a serious subject to America, and the 
scheme of this play was to show that marital disagree- 
ments usually begin with self-love and pride, and that they 
grow out of unions where each party marries for his or 
her own happiness and forgets the other's ; and to impress 
the idea that forbearance is the religion of matrimony as 
well as of society. 

Anthony Trollope's "He Knew He Was Right" 
suggested the common case of a man unreasonably jealous 
and a woman unreasonably resentful ; but apart from 
these traits, Daly could claim the play, with its well- 
contrasted characters (of whom there were twenty- 
one), its novel incidents, intense dialogue, and admirable 
denouement, as all his own. Two ill-assorted couples 
were shown. Miss Morris and Harkins represented a 
high-strung woman united to a man who denied her the 
least freedom of will ; and Miss Davenport and Davidge, 
a mating of May and December. Dominating the sea 
of trouble was the "divorce lawyer" Jitt (Lewis), and 
his coadjutor was necessarily the despicable divorce 
detective (W. J. Lemoyne). The worldly mother and 
matchmaker was Miss Fanny Morant. Necessary to the 
story was the alienist (DeVere), of whom a well-known 
physician said, "I'm delighted to see on the stage at last 
a character that does not belie the profession!" Minor 
parts fell to Mrs. Gilbert, Mary Gary, Ida Yereance, 
Linda Dietz, Louise VoUmer, Kate Glaxton, Nellie Morti- 
mer, David Whiting, Henry Grisp, and Owen Fawcett. 

The first representation ^ showed that the play exactly 
1 Sept. 9, 1871. 


suited the temper of the pubHc. It did not preach, it 
acted, its moral. The causes of trouble lay on the surface 
of everyday life. The whole play was an appeal to reason, 
to fairness, to justice. The appeal went straight home. 
The veteran actor John Gilbert was there on the first 
night. He went back to Wallack's and said : "They have 
a strong play up there !" It is not surprising that it was 
played two hundred times (a record), and, before the season 
ended, all over the United States. 

The devotion of the manager to the older comedy 
prompted the revival of "The Provoked Husband." ^ 
Miss Davenport was Lady Totvnly, Mrs. Gilbert Lady 
Wronghead, Miss Gary Lady Grace, and Miss Claxton 
Trusty; Louis James was Manly and Lemoyne Moody. 
A week was given to Miss Ethel in Frou-Frou and 
Viola; then came the greatest sensation of the manage- 
ment, "Article 47." 

In this play Miss Morris reached the height of her 
achievement. The scene in which, baffled of her ven- 
geance, which had become a monomania, her overwrought 
emotion unseats her reason and she passes through the 
stages of fear, cunning, and loss of control to raving mad- 
ness was electrifying; and when the curtain fell, she was 
the mistress of the American stage. This triumph had 
not been effected without extreme preparation. Long 
rehearsals with her ambitious and painstaking manager 
had shaped every movement and guided every inflection. 
Their joy was mutual. The brilliancy of the cast, the 
setting, the surroundings, made this victory look as if it 
had been foreseen and staged. Miss Davenport, Mrs. 
Gilbert, Misses DIetz, Norwood, Vollmer, and Yereance, 
Messrs. Crisp, Davldge, James, Lewis, Griffiths, Le- 
moyne, Parkes, Harkins, DeVere, and Burnett were In 

1 March 22, 1872. 

Clara Morris 


the triumph. The season closed^ when "Article 47" 
was well on to its hundredth night. 

The successes achieved by plays in which she had no 
part caused Miss Ethel to leave Daly's management and 
engage with Shook and Palmer of the Union Square, who 
had watched the course of the Fifth Avenue Theatre 
with appreciative eyes. Daly would gladly have retained 
Miss Ethel with the expectation of fitting her delicate and 
limited gifts with suitable parts. He had sent her with a 
special company through the country to star in "Frou- 
Frou" and "Divorce," and he offered her a three years' 
engagement. She was weighing this when Shook and 
Palmer made her an offer to get a play for her from 
Sardou and revive the interest of the "Frou-Frou" 
days. The scheme was greatly helped by Harkins being 
now willing to leave Daly (Clarke was coming back) and 
serve the Union Square as stage manager with all the 
experience acquired at the Fifth Avenue. It may briefly 
be said that Miss Ethel's acceptance was wise, and Shook 
and Palmer's venture successful. Sardou made over one 
of his plays ("Andrea"), and called it "Agnes," in which 
Miss Ethel made a decided hit; after one season she 
retired to marry. 

During the latter part of the run of "Article 47" Miss 
Davenport was also fitted out with a company to star in 
"Divorce," taking Miss Morris' part, Fanny Ten Eyck. 
Lawrence Barrett wrote from his theatre in New Orleans : 
"She is certainly as sound in sentiment as she is airy and 
charming in comedy. She has the best of her parent 
stock in her composition." There was another starring 
tour, brief and eccentric, the first of its kind : during the 
run of "Divorce" at the Fifth Avenue the whole company 
was carried to Philadelphia to give a matinee (at the 

1 June 15, 1872. 


Walnut Street Theatre, I think) and were back in New 
York in time for the evening performance. The excursion 
was greatly enjoyed by everybody except James Lewis, 
who sat gloomily in a corner when he heard that the regular 
trains on the P. R. R. were to be held on sidings to let the 
special containing his mortal parts go by. Like nearly 
every other comic actor Lewis took a serious view of life 
and the probability of its accidents. He was not seen to 
smile that day until back safe in Twenty-fourth Street. 
The untiring manager had this season found time to 
assist in benefits for Mrs. Matilda Heron, now sadly in 
need, and for the young widow of James H. Hackett, who 
was left with an infant son. 


Last of this theatre. Fourth season opens with Bronson Howard's 
"Diamonds." Old Comedy and Shakespeare take possession. 
Charles Fisher as Old Dornion, Falstaf, and Sir Peter Teazle. 
Clara Morris in "The Inconstant." Lewis' aversion to old com- 
edy. Notable casts for "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and 
"The School for Scandal." Revival of "The Belle's Stratagem 
and "The Provoked Husband." An amateur debut. Frank 
Marshall's charming "New Year's Eve." Sudden end of the 
Fifth Avenue Theatre. Fire on New Year's Day 1873. Total 
loss. Daly resolves to go on immediately. Interview with A. T. 
Stewart. The old New York Theatre converted into a Fifth 
Avenue Theatre in three weeks. Great throng at opening, January 
21, 1873. "Alixe" and Clara Morris. "Madeleine Morel." 
Revivals of former successes. Close of season. A charity benefit 
and Adelaide Neilson. We look at another scene of Daly's ac- 

The theatre was made splendid for the next season ; a 
tableau by Gariboldi, "The Crowning of Comedy," 
decorated the ceiling — a subject reproduced by the 
same artist for the new Fifth Avenue Theatre on Twenty- 
eighth Street, and embroidered in silk for Daly's last 
theatre on Broadway. The opening piece was a play by 
Bronson Howard ^ with strong (if not violent) features, 
in which all the company took part ; it was, in fact, written 
to fit them all. But it did not make a lasting impression, 
and its withdrawal enabled Daly to indulge his passion 
for the classic drama. Charles Fisher had just joined 
his forces and enabled him to extend his range of old 
comedies, Fisher's style, more French than English, 

1 Sept. 3, 1872. 


agreed well with the lightness of touch observable in 
all the Daly revivals. He had had immense experience 
in many companies, from Burton's to Lester Wallack's. 
There was a new young woman too, Sara Jewett, a pupil 
of Miss Morant, who possessed all the freshness of Agnes 
Ethel without her fascination, and all the energy of Clara 
Morris without her power. 

"The Road to Ruin" introduced Fisher ^ as Old Dornton, 
one of the choice impersonations of W. R. Blake. Lewis 
was cast for Goldfinch, but to the manager's astonishment 
declined it, not because it was not good enough but be- 
cause it was "entirely out of his way." Clarke took it 
and gave it the correct rollicking touch. The fact was 
that Lewis detested old comedy, yet he was a good Touch- 
stone, Grumio, and even Sir Toby Belch. The next revival 
was "The Belle's Stratagem,"^ with Louis James as Dori- 
court, Clarke as Flutter, Davidge as Old Hardy, Miss 
Davenport as Letitia, and Miss Morant as Mrs. Rockett. 
Then came "Everybody's Friend," ^ the feature of which 
was the tragic Louis James in Felix Featherly, a part that 
J. B, Polk had once rejected as beneath him. The greatest 
novelty, however, was "The Inconstant," for the first time 
in seventeen years,^ with Miss Morris as Oriana (her first 
appearance in page's dress, and a very spirited, slender, 
and symmetrical figure). Miss Davenport as Bizarre, 
Clarke as Young Mirabel, and Griffiths as Old Mirabel. 
Shakespeare's "Merry Wives of Windsor" presented 
Fisher as Falstaff, Miss Davenport as Mrs. Ford, Miss 
Morant as Mrs. Page, Miss Jewett as Anne, Mrs. Gilbert 
as Dame Quickly, Clarke as Page, Louis James as Ford, 
Lewis as Slender, Lemoyne as Caius, Davidge as Evans, 
Whiting as Shallow, Ringgold as Fenton, and Fawcett as 

1 Oct. 28, 1872. 3 Nov. 4, 1872. 

*Oct. 30, 1872. ■* Nov. 6, 1872. 


Host — a memorable cast. Fisher's fat knight was all 
nature. There never seemed to be anything theatrical 
about his bulk nor anything assumed in voice or gait. 
The rolling eye and smacking lip had no suggestion of 
the theatre, and seemed to have no taint of grossness. 

Equally pleasing to lovers of old comedy was Fisher's 
Sir Peter Teazle in the next revival, "The School for 
Scandal." ^ Miss Davenport was Lady Teazle, and it 
continued to be her part for ten years. Clarke was 
Charles, James was Joseph, Lewis Moses, Davidge Crab- 
tree, and Miss Morant Mrs. Candour. Such a revival is 
the supreme test of a dramatic company. If you doubt 
it, try to recall how many managers venture upon it in 
these days. In rapid succession followed "Married 
Life" 2 and "A Bold Stroke for a Husband." ^ Mean- 
while, a debutante from the ranks of New York social 
life, Mrs. C. D. Abbott, made her first appearance at a 
matinee^ in "The Baroness," from the French. A new 
comedy, Frank Marshall's "New Year's Eve," a charming 
picture of English life, was produced on December 23, 
and as interpreted by Miss Morris, Miss Davenport, 
Mrs. Gilbert, Miss Mortimer, Whiting, Burnett, Clarke, 
Rockwell, Davidge, Ringgold, and Fawcett, became at 
once a favorite. 

New Year's day, 1873, was a typical winter's afternoon, 
and the streets were covered with snow and ice. At 
about half past five I was stepping into a sleigh, when the 
driver with a troubled air Informed me of a report that 
"the Fifth Avenue Theatre was on fire." Driving imme- 
diately In that direction, it was found that we could ap- 
proach no nearer than the corner of Fifth Avenue and 
Twenty-fourth Street, as a cordon of police was stretched 

* Dec. 9, 1872. 'Dec. 17, 1872. 

* Dec. 16, 1872. * Dec. 12, 1872. 


across the latter thoroughfare. From that spot an 
immense crowd of strangely silent spectators watched a 
roaring flame ascend as in a chimney from the walls of 
what had been, an hour before, the most cherished play- 
house in America. After a brief view of the melancholy 
sight, and the receipt of many condolences from acquaint- 
ances in the crowd, I returned to our home and learned 
the particulars of the disaster. 

About half an hour after the departure of the audience 
which had crowded the afternoon performance, Appleton, 
in the box office in front of the theatre and scarcely six 
feet from the street, was astonished by a gush of smoke 
and flame beneath him, and had only time to close his 
safe, clutch at his cash, and escape through the doorway. 
The artist on the paint frame above the stage beheld the 
smoke rising through the openings in the orchestra and 
fought his way blindly out. In a few minutes the whole 
house was a furnace. The doorkeeper, whose post was 
at the front basement entrance, had not appeared, but 
alarm for his safety was succeeded by astonishment when 
he was seen coming toward the theatre after it was practi- 
cally consumed. He had absented himself without leave 
to join his family at their New Year dinner. But for 
his desertion it is probable that the fire, detected at the 
beginning, might have been extinguished. Once before 
the theatre had been threatened by a fire which broke out 
in one of the dressing rooms below the auditorium. It 
was caused by the careless handling of an alcohol torch 
used by one of the cleaners ; but Thomas, Uncle Wood- 
gate's black boy, was then the doorkeeper, and, intelligent 
as well as fearless, he seized the light hose which was kept 
on a reel by the frontdoor and ran with it down the corri- 
dor upon which the rooms opened, and quickly extin- 
guished the flames. At each corridor under the audi- 

The Fifth Avenite Theatre 
The dav after the fire 


torium there were similar reels of light hose, besides fire 
extinguishers in every part of the house. All that was 
needed was a watchman faithful to his post. It is 
characteristic of my brother's merciful disposition that, 
knowing this unfortunate guardian would be unable 
to get employment after such omission of duty, he took 
him back for the sake of his family. 

Our house that night was filled with friends calling to 
condole with my brother upon his great loss, but he was 
found in anything but a depressed mood. Although 
totally uninsured and facing an incalculable loss in ward- 
robes, furniture, manuscripts, libraries, and records, his 
only thought was how to continue his artistic enterprise 
and the season so suddenly extinguished. To do this it 
was necessary to reproduce the Fifth Avenue Theatre 
somewhere, move his company there, and go on as if 
nothing had happened. But it must be done instantly 
— while the memory of the public was fresh. At eight 
o'clock that night, as A. T. Stewart was rising from 
dinner, Mr. Augustin Daly was announced. " I thought, " 
said Mr. Stewart, advancing with outstretched hand, 
"that I should see you !" Stewart, as we know, was the 
proprietor of the New York Theatre where "Griffith 
Gaunt" and "Under the Gaslight" were produced. It 
was then the only vacant theatre in New York, and 
Stewart, who knew Daly and his enterprising spirit, 
had probably been listening for the doorbell since 

six P.M. 

A lease for two years was agreed upon at once, and 
next day Mr. Daly was closeted with builders and 
decorators, who were to convert the wretched old barn into 
some interior resemblance to the Fifth Avenue Theatre 
as it was on New Year's morning. This was accomplished 
in exactly three weeks from January 4, when the con- 


tracts were signed, though at the heavy cost which such 
rapid work entails. 

Meanwhile the extensive company was held together. 
Some one remarked that Daly was " a mother to it." Lewis 
replied, "I don't know about the mother, but he is 
certainly our father!" Each member suffered individual 
losses. The manager grieved most for his prompt books 
and his letters. Some of the latter were found, and have 
been consulted in writing these pages ; but the charred 
edges crumble in my hand. Letters of sympathy poured 
in. Wallack wrote offering his theatre, and sent a message 
from Sothern. "The ladies and gentlemen of the Fifth 
Avenue Theatre Company" had a meeting, with Davidge 
in the chair, to express their sympathy and the hope that 
their manager would continue "in the same way he has 
so successfully employed in elevating and furthering the 
best interests of the Drama in New York." Bronson 
Howard wrote from Detroit: "What with the epizootic 
and snowstorms and fire, you and Providence seem to 
have had a serious falling out of late." What was greatly 
valued by Daly was a letter of sympathy from the veteran 
James L. Smith of The Sunday Courier^ who had given 
him, as a youth, his first employment and encouragement. 

To open "Daly's Fifth Avenue Theatre," as the reju- 
venated playhouse was now called, the manager resolved 
to produce a new play, reserving the fateful but successful 
"New Year's Eve" for contingencies. He had offers in 
plenty. Mrs. Olive Logan, writing her gratitude for his 
efforts with her "Surf," announced a new piece prepared 
in collaboration with her husband, William Wirt Sikes, 
the United States Consul at Cardiff, Wales. Dumas' 
"Femme de Claude" had been acquired by formal con- 
tract with that eminent author. Bret Harte had already 
interviewed him : 


"217 East 49th St. 

My dear Mr. Daly : 

Sunday is, in law, a dies non, but in fact is a good day for the 
unfolding of a great moral purpose, such as I need not say would 
be a play from this hand, submitted to the author of 'Divorce.' 
Look for me then on Sunday at 10 a.m., at wh. hour the curtain 
will rise promptly upon the performances of two young men from 
whom posterity expects everything. 

Confidentially yours 

Bret Harte. 
Aug. Daly Esq." 

But Daly already had in mind a novelty. This was 
"Alixe," from the French of "La Comtesse de Somerive," 
by the Baroness de Prevois. On the night of January 21 > 
1873, the eager crowd that poured Into Nos. 728-30 
Broadway and found themselves on velvet carpets in an 
interior of crimson and gold and in the very atmosphere 
of the uptown "jewel box," might have recalled the many 
changes upon this spot. Old churchgoers remembered it 
as The Church of the Messiah, in which the commence- 
ment exercises of the neighboring University of the City 
of New York were held when a young graduate, Oakey 
Hall (he took the English honors), delivered an address 
on the poet Keats, and composed a dialogue between 
The Ghosts of the Past, the Present, and the Future, with 
the prophecy : 

"Even this church of our Commencement page 
A playhouse is, with Shakespeare as the rage." 

All memories however gave way when, amid a roar of 
applause, the familiar orchestra of the Fifth Avenue 
Theatre took their seats with Harvey Dodworth as leader, 
and old Padovani's bald pate was seen exactly in its 


accustomed place. Still greater was the welcome to the 
assembled company, when the curtain rose and disclosed 
them delightfully lined up to recite an address written 
by John Brougham, in which each principal had a line 
recalling some favorite incident of the past three years. 
Up to this time the genius of the enterprise had not shown 
himself, but no sooner was the prologue ended than the 
whole house burst out with "Daly!" and broke into the 
wildest demonstration when the tall and slender figure 
with the pale face and brilliant eyes stepped upon the 
scene. One line of his address dwells in the memory : 
"The casket is gone, but the jewels are safe. In fact, the 
Fifth Avenue Theatre is not destroyed, its life and soul 
are here. There is simply a change of scene ; and between 
the last act and this, 'a period of three weeks is supposed 
to have elapsed'; that is all." 

By the time the personal greetings between the stage 
and the public had been exchanged, the audience was full 
of the spirit of the old nights in the old house. The old 
spell was upon everybody, now profoundly strengthened 
by the affecting play that inaugurated the new house. 
Miss Morris, Miss Davenport, Miss Morant, Miss Dietz, 
Miss Mortimer, Clarke, James, Lewis, Fisher, Burnett, 
and Beekman were the few who shared in the eventful 
first night. Miss Morris and Miss Dietz represented 
half-sisters, the children of the Comtesse de Somerive 
(Miss Morant). The elder, condemned to the shade while 
her happier sister sports in the sunlight, has nevertheless 
no plaint to make, even when her only affection has to be 
added to her sacrifices. This stroke kills. There was no 
display of force in the acting of Miss Morris. None was 
called for; the mute appeal was transcendent. 

The press, like the audience, was enraptured. Said 
one journal : "That so simple a story can be so eflFectively 


told is a credit to the stage." Said another: "Faults 
may no doubt be discerned after the glare which Mr. Daly 
has thrown about this opening subsides, but it is more 
graceful, as it is more delightful, to simply recount at this 
time the unqualified triumph of the management in the 
new home, the company on the new stage, and the play 
of 'Alixe' in its new dress." 

For two months the new play charmed, and then "New 
Year's Eve" was revived, followed by "Old Heads and 
Young Hearts" and "Divorce." The season of five 
months here was closed ^ with Mosenthal's "Madeleine 
Morel," produced on May 20, 1873. The denouement of 
this play was altered by Daly. It presented an incident 
new to the theatre. A novice about to take the veil 
meets in a church with a marriage party; and the bride- 
groom is recognized by the despairing girl as the cause of 
her misery. The awful nature of the result, the frenzy 
and wreck of mind, was almost beyond the limits of a 
social play and belonged rather to the regions of pure 

Daly found time to arrange the annual charity benefit 
at the Academy of Music, which netted ten thousand 
dollars and which ought to be associated with the memory 
of the beautiful Adelaide Neilson. Her generous co- 
operation having been secured by Daly, she exerted her- 
self to retain E. A. Sothern, whom a California engage- 
ment threatened to carry off, and succeeded. Sothern 
played in "A Regular Fix," Miss Neilson and her com- 
pany played an act of "As You Like It," the Daly com- 
pany gave the third act of "Madeleine Morel," Charles 
Fechter appeared in an act of "Hamlet," George L. Fox 
in scenes from "Humpty Dumpty," and Dan Bryant 
with his minstrels. It was one of the few benefit perform- 

ijune 28, 1873. 


ances in which there have been no disappointments — 
thanks to Miss Neilson. 

In addition to the very great labors of this season, enough 
to tax the energies of many men, Daly leased and managed 
the Grand Opera House in New York, the very large 
and handsome theatre on the corner of Twenty-third 
Street and Eighth Avenue ; the account of this unique 
undertaking will be made the subject of a separate chapter. 


How managers "spread." Daly leases the Grand Opera House. 
"Le Roi Carotte" a great spectacle. "Round the Clock." New 
York scenes. Harry Hill's. Vice in the rough. "The Cataract 
of the Ganges." "Roughing It." Production of Sardou's 
"L'Oncle Sam." His pictures of American life, social, industrial, 
and political. Charles Fechter, turned out of 14th Street, is shel- 
tered by Daly at the Grand Opera House. "Monte Cristo." 
"The Corsican Brothers." "Ruy Bias." "Charge" for charity. 
Bronson Howard and "Old Western Hemisphere." Second Sea- 
son. Charlotte Cushman's opinion of the modern stage. A 
managers' association. Borrowing actors. Shakespeare memorial 
window. Young John Drew introduced to Daly. Portents. "A 
Midsummer Night's Dream." Grand opera with Lucca and Di 
Murska. "The Wandering Jew." "Humpty Dumpty Abroad." 
Fox as Richard HI for charity. Another benefit got up by Wal- 
lack and Daly. Daly's Broadway Theatre begins with "La Fille 
de Madame Angot." "The New Magdalen" rehearsed by Wilkie 
Collins. The panic of 1873 ruins theatrical business and catches 
Daly with two theatres on his shoulders and a third building. 
"An Atlas of Theatres." 

In the noon of his prosperity at the Fifth Avenue Theatre 
Daly found himself lessee of the Grand Opera House. 
Young and phenomenally successful theatrical managers 
are never satisfied with one theatre. Material, excellent 
and abundant, demands more room ; I have no doubt that 
Thespis was early compelled to hire two carts. When 
Daly was ofi"ered "Le Roi Carotte," — music by Offen- 
bach, book by Sardou, a spectacle and opera suitable 
for a great theatre, — the Grand Opera House was the 
only place available. It was out of the way, and accessible 
only by omnibus from Broadway; but Mr. Duff had his 



eye on it and was waiting for the present tenant to fail, as 
all had done who leased it since it was built by Samuel 
Pike in 1868 as a rival to the Academy of Music. But 
Daly, not knowing Mr. Duff's plans, bought out the 
tenant for fifteen thousand dollars and began to recon- 
struct the stage for "King Carrot." An expensive com- 
pany was assembled : Mrs. John Wood (lately returned 
from England), Miss Emma Howson, Miss Rose Hersee, 
John Brougham, Stuart Robson, two families of acrobats, 
— the Majiltons and the Lauris, — and an army of other 
people of both sexes. The costumes and properties were 
bought in France for a hundred thousand francs. The 
play cost as much more. 

The story of the play, a thinly disguised political 
squib, told how a people discarded an ancient line of 
sovereigns to pick a king from the kitchen garden, and 
finally, in a great revolt, restored their exiled monarch. 
It drew immensely at first. A striking tableau was the 
resurrection of the city of Pompeii from its lava-covered 
fields, and its reengulfment by an eruption of Vesuvius. 
An admirable trick was the dismemberment of the 
wizard Quiribibi, the casting of his members (under his 
direction) in a furnace, and his emergence therefrom 
rejuvenated. The music was of a superior order. 

After three months the fairy spectacle was replaced 
by "Round the Clock," an extravaganza of New York 
scenes. There was "Harry Hill's," on the corner of 
Houston and Crosby streets, a famous spot in police 
annals, the detectives seldom failing to find there at some 
time the man or woman they wanted. The afi"able Mr. 
Hill received Mr. Daly, accompanied by the indispensable 
"plain clothes man," on a visit of inspection preparatory 
to putting the place on the stage. The room there in 
which the public entertainments were given, though large, 


was coarse and squalid. There was no "gilded vice" at 
Harry Hill's. A platform of plain boards held a cheap 
piano, for the accompaniment of singers without voices 
or any other attraction. Sometimes the benevolent 
proprietor gave a poor waif a chance to earn a living 
there, and on the night of the manager's visit a blind 
woman sang in a pitiful way, and was rewarded by 
contributions taken up on the spot. Throngs of visitors 
came and went or sat at small tables for refreshments. 
Several notorious "crooks" were pointed out, and well- 
dressed women came in now and then from the street 
to hold brief colloquies with them at the tables or at 
the bar. One tall and handsome creature, expensively 
gowned, stood earnestly conversing with an evil-visaged 
man, whose demeanor, however, was very respectful. 
She was known to the detectives as the wife of a burglar 
then serving his time, and was understood to be engaged 
in a serious business talk with one of his associates. After 
the conversation she left, with a cursory glance at the 

The principal attraction of the place to its habitues 
was an occasional boxing contest between youthful 
amateurs or, on great occasions, between distinguished 
professors of the manly art of self-defence. It was the 
boast of Harry that he kept the best of order in his 
place. Signs were conspicuously posted on the walls, 
"No lovers allowed." But this was not to be interpreted 
as a discouragement of the tender passion, for the expen- 
sively dressed ladies were never so welcome as when 
attended by liberal admirers. The lovers who were 
warned off were the unspeakable ruffians who lived upon 
the earnings of the women. 

The picturesque features of this den were what the 
manager desired to reproduce : the stage, the char- 


acteristic patrons, the humble singers and dancers, the 
amateur boxers ; and for the exigencies of the plot, an 
irruption of police in pursuit of criminals was invented. 
This innovation was resented bv Mr. Hill, who wrote to 
Mr. Daly, objecting also to the place being called a "crib," 
and advising the impresario that several gentlemen of 
his acquaintance were kept from visiting the Grand 
Opera House with their families by reason of such mis- 
interpretations : 

"N. York, Dec. 9th 1872 
Mr. Daly, 

I perceive by your advertisement this day the title you think 
proper to call my house — A Crib. Allow me to tell you 
plainly it never was considered in such a Light, also your 
representation is very Low. I never have police to rush into 
my house, or to be represented by such a crowd. I pay License 
and as such deserve and will not be held up by any one. your 
reputation is in its morning mine has arrived to mid day 
Therefore I would wish you to understand me perfectly. An 
alteration would be an advantage to you. As several gentle- 
men of my acquaintance would take their families to see Harry 
Hills as it is. I think you trust your agents, and have not 
given it any attention yourself. 

rasp yours. 
Harry Hill. 

26 E Houston" 

The play was immensely attractive and drew great 
audiences, notwithstanding the regretted absence of the 
discriminating gentlemen of poor Harry Hill's acquaint- 
ance. It was acted for two months. 

To follow "Round the Clock," "The Cataract of the 
Ganges " was revived for the first time in twenty years, — 
a spectacle displaying extraordinary feats of horsemanship, 
the chief sensation being a scene covering the whole height 
as well as depth of the stage, and presenting a succession 


of waterfalls, which a highly mettled horse with a rider 
ascended in great bounds, leaping from glistening rock 
to rock and dashing aside the spray with its hoofs. 
Brougham assisted his manager in grafting upon the 
ancient spectacle an old farce, the locale of which was 
East India, and which gave Mrs. Wood and himself an 
opportunity to enliven the scene. 

After this came "Roughing It," dramatized by Mr. 
Daly from Mark Twain's book ; and this was followed by 
the real sensation of the season — ■ a picture of American 
life and manners by an eminent Frenchman whose knowl- 
edge of both was derived from foreign and domestic 
caricature. This instructive dramatic satire was the 
work of M. Victorien Sardou, and was called "L'Oncle 
Sam." While preparing for production at the Paris 
Vaudeville^ it was engaged by my brother for America. 
The subsequent intelligence that it had been interdicted 
by the French Government as likely to be offensive to 
the Americans, and that M. Sardou had addressed a re- 
monstrance to the President of the Republic, was not 
calculated to lessen interest on this side. Sardou said : 

"I protest against this judgment. 'Uncle Sam' attacks in no 
way the political institutions of the United States. It is simply 
a comedy of manners, a criticism of American eccentricities, as 
the 'Famille Benoiton' was a criticism of French eccentricities; 
a criticism made without bitterness and which never passes 
the limits of that liberty which has always belonged in every age 
to comedy. 

Not one of the personages of the play is an odious character, 
and if any expression really injurious to the United States is 
pointed out to me, I am ready to expunge it on the instant." 

"Uncle Sam" therefore made its first appearance on 
any stage, ^ in America, and was a veritable native-born 

1 March 17, 1873. 


citizen of foreign parentage. The opening scene was one 
of those " fashionable resorts," the upper deck of an Albany 
day-boat on its way to the metropolis. A couple of French 
tourists (one a marquis, the other a virtuoso on a concert 
tour) have come on deck to escape the drinking and card- 
playing in the saloon. Here they are joined by a com- 
patriot, a lady from New Orleans, who gives her experience 
with the American judicial system in her legal contest over 
an estate situated partly in Massachusetts and partly in 
Connecticut, the house itself being divided by the State 
line. She had gained the suit in Connecticut, but had 
lost it in Massachusetts. On appeal each judgment was 
reversed, and she lost in Connecticut but won in 
Massachusetts. The final result is to give her the parlor 
and award her adversary the salle a manger. Her specula- 
tions in buying real estate are not less exciting : A clever 
gentleman manages to sell her a factory in Arkansas at 
the very moment that it is burning up ; and another sells 
her a bog in Kentucky which " takes in " all its proprietors. 
The tourists are joined by a young American journalist 
who describes to them that typical American, the Hon. 
Samuel Tapplehot (L'Oncle Sam), who "sold brooms at the 
age of twelve, was porkpacker at seventeen, manufacturer 
of shoe-polish at twenty, made a fortune in cocoa, lost in 
tobacco, rose again with indigo, fell with salt pork, re- 
bounded with cotton and settled definitely upon guano. 
He rises at six, rushes to his office in an omnibus, is greedy, 
extravagant, cunning and credulous ; without scruples, 
yet a good fellow ; will throw you overboard for a hundred 
dollars and spend two hundred to fish you out; a perfect 
type of the American whom nothing discourages, always 
at the front, his eyes fixed upon his three beacons — wealth 
for an end, cunning for the means, and as for morals — 




"You know him then?" asks the marquis. 

"Very well. He was my father-in-law for six months," 

responds the journalist, who had married L'Oncle Sam's 
eldest daughter and is happily divorced. 

This introduces, of course, the characteristic American 
complication. The wife has married again, and we see 
her effusively greet her first, to whom she introduces her 
second. Her indulgent father complains gently of having 
been overlooked in the announcement of the second union. 
"Why," she exclaims, "didn't you get my telegram."*" 
They discuss the respective husbands. "I like the first 
one best," says Uncle Sam, "and he seems to be still very 
fond of you !" This sets the lady thinking; and, as the 
assistance of the journalist is important to one of Papa's 
new deals, she confidently undertakes to secure it. The 
result is a return to number one. 

A "typical" aldermanic contest is described. Three 
days before the election, the Democrats have gained a 
great point by exhibiting at their headquarters an educated 
seal which smokes a pipe. The Republicans, whose 
candidate had risen from the cobbler's bench, were in 
despair until they hit upon the happy expedient of ex- 
hibiting him in the act of making a pair of shoes for the 
poor. After that, the seal may go to the bottom. 

But the flower of all things American in the play is the 
American girl, exemplified in Miss Sarah Tapplebot, the 
orphan niece of the prosperous Uncle Sam. She comes 
upon the crowded deck, looks about for a seat, taps the 
marquis on the shoulder with her parasol, and, when he 
starts to his feet, hat in hand, carries away his chair to 
sit on it beside her own party. "She did not even say 
'thank you!'" murmurs the bewildered foreigner. "Oh, 
never," says his compatriot, placidly. From that moment 


the marquis determines to win the American girl, and 
reduce to submission this self-possessed creature who 
flirts with a hundred men until she chooses her particular 
victim and compels him to wear her chains. Fate is 
propitious. Without waiting to be introduced, she takes 
his arm as a matter of course and orders him to help 
her down the gang-plank. As the members of her party 
rush off to business in different directions, these two walk 
about the town, visit the shops, and lunch in a restau- 
rant ; and he is finally invited to tea at her uncle's hotel. 
"But won't your uncle think it rather strange.^" "My 
uncle! It's none of his business!" He accepts. The 
home of Tapplebot is a hotel. All wealthy Americans live 
in hotels. Hither come at night a dozen couples of young 
people, all flirting, each couple seated apart. The 
bewitching Sarah engages the enraptured Marquis in 
conversation in which she cross-examines him as to his 
rank, his income, his capital and what it is invested in, 
permits his ardent protestations of love, secures his 
pencilled declaration, and in the end gets her hat and 
wrap and announces that she is going to Long Branch. 
The marquis sadly relates the sequel : " I was sent skipping 
from icebergs to flames, from red pepper to snowballs, 
exasperated at beholding the fruit almost at my lips and 
unable to clutch it. I was mad. I understand now the 
meaning of the word 'flirtation' ! But how do they carry 
it on without singeing their wings .'* Heavens ! What are 
American women made of .^ And you will ask what were 
the words to all this music "i A serious and tender 
prattle — conversation witty and childlike — an in- 
definable perfume rising from this strange flower of a new 
world ! At length yesterday she became all at once 
reserved — alarmed ! I expected to see her at dinner — 
she did not come. I went to her room — gone ! Gone 


without a word of farewell." The explanation of her 
flight, however, was simple. This bold, capable, and con- 
fident young American has suddenly become conscious 
of love, and her flight is a confession. He has conquered. 
He does not know it until he clasps her in his arms and 
she pleads, "Leave me — oh, leave me — Robert, I am 
afraid!" Whereupon he joyfully exclaims: "At last! 
That is the cry I wanted to hear from your lips ! Oh, 
maiden modesty! You still exist!" and he makes her 
his wife. 

Somehow, the play was not convincing. 

While "Uncle Sam" was playing, Mr. Daly learned of 
the misfortune of Charles Fechter, who was compelled to 
abandon his enterprise of converting the Fourteenth Street 
Theatre into a model playhouse after his own artistic 
designs. Daly at once invited the shipwrecked manager 
and actor to make use of the Grand Opera House and its 
company for a timely appearance : 

"28 March, '73. 
Dear Mr. Daly 

I really don't know how to answer your kind proposal ; or 
rather I answer by accepting it at once. 

You have taken a frightful load off my mind : That of break- 
ing my faith with the public. 

Although I was unlawfully and in a vile way forced to it, I 
could not bear the notion of disappointing my supporters ; 
thanks to you I feel myself anew ; and thanks to you again 
'Monte Cristo' will be presented this season spite all ugly tricks 
to prevent its appearance. 

Name your terms, I accept them 'd'avance'; and shall ever 
consider myself in your debt, for the light your brotherly assist- 
ance will throw on the whole matter. 

Yours thankfully 

Chas. Fechter." 


Preparation was immediately made by Daly for 
Fechter's debut in "Monte Cristo," the play he was pre- 
paring in Fourteenth Street when evicted, and on April 
28 it was given in magnificent style to a crowded house. 
Fechter was then at the ripe age of fifty, and master of 
the whole art of acting. His acting was technical per- 
fection, and inspired on this occasion by his victory over 
what had seemed lasting defeat. Next day he wrote : 

"29 April '73. 
Dear Daly 

I think ' fFe^ve got 'em.' 

Now let me once more and personally thank you from the 
bottom of my heart for your brotherly and effectual support in 
the whole matter. It was indeed wonderfully carried out ! No 
word in our poor restricted language can express my entire satis- 

Thanks again heartily. * * * * 

Yours ever sincerely 

Chas. Fechter." 

"The Corsican Brothers" followed "Monte Cristo" for 
one week and was succeeded by "Ruy Bias" for another. 
On June 14 the closing performance of this arduous and 
exciting season took place. Before going on his vacation 
Fechter responded in his hearty style to a request to play 
for charity : 

" 14 May 73 

My dear Daly 

I am all yours, and at the free disposal of the Foundlings' 

My 'terms' as usual for all charitable purposes: $00000! 

Sincerely thine 

Chas. Fechter. 

We must have a chat about next season — if you really want 
me — proposals are pouring.'' 


Fechter did not play again under Mr. Daly's manage- 
ment, but he continued for five years afterwards to fill 
engagements in various cities in this country. He ulti- 
mately retired to a farm in Pennsylvania, and died, it is 
said, in poverty. Although exacting very high terms for 
his performances, his indifference in business matters 
usually left him in difficulties which his faculty for con- 
tention (with managers) did not tend to lighten. His 
audience appeared to be limited. Although the most 
finished and capable of actors, he was not popular. 
Easily holding the whole attention while on the scene, he 
nevertheless sent the spectator away unsatisfied. The 
impression he left upon me was that of a consummate 
actor consciously displaying his art. As a reader, I 
think he would have been completely satisfying. An offer 
of ^500 a night for readings was made to him by J. B. 
Pugh, the impresario of the lecture field, through my 
brother, but without scenic surroundings the stage had 
no charm for the artist. 

Before closing this chapter of Mr. Daly's first season 
of "grand productions" in the vast Opera House, I 
must confide to the reader a fancy which seized upon the 
imagination of Bronson Howard after he had seen "Le 
Roi Carotte." This was an immense allegorical spectacle 
showing the origin and growth of America, with a greater 
personage even than Uncle Sam as the genius of our 
continent and dominating the scene — "Old Western 
Hemisphere," whom I conceive to be a species of brooding 
giant shaping the destinies of Brother Jonathan and the 
Central and South American republics, all children of the 
venerable protector. Beginning with the red man, the 
play was to come down to Columbus and Montezuma 
and the discovery of the Pacific. The long letter of 
Howard was a brilliant scenario. This dream of the in- 


ventive young playwright only afforded the manager a 
moment of pleasant contemplation, clouded perhaps by 
calculations of the acres of canvas, forests of timber, 
menageries of wild beasts, armies of supernumeraries, and 
treasuries of gold necessary to realize it, not to mention 
the time consumed in the performance, which would have 
had to be reckoned not by hours but by days. 

For his second season at the Grand Opera House Mr. 
Daly thought of bringing back Miss Charlotte Cushman, 
then long retired, in her great part Meg Merrilies. His 
suggestion induced a reply which will be worth the reader's 

"Villa Cushman, 

R. L 

July 7th, 1873. 
Dear Mr. Daly. 

Your favor of the 4th in. reed. Contents noted & generally 
satisfactory to me. The only thing which admits of question is 
whether I shall be able to act seven times in the week. If I 
am able, be sure, I shall do it — but your note binds me to act 
seven times if I ^^ enter upon the engage' t.''^ To this I can not 
bind myself. I am not a capricious person. I have never 
placed myself in any antagonism to the interests of the Theatre 
where I am engaged — therefore you must trust to my justice 
& my ability to carry out that clause in your letter. 

All else seems to me quite rightly understood by you. I do 
not wish to have my character in 'Guy Mannering' — (as I 
prefer it should still be called) — augmented or changed at all. 
As I give it — it reaches the extent of my power, & if increased 
would only be beyond it. It seems to me — as I recollect 
seeing the play acted in the old times, that properly placed upon 
the stage, the drama is good enough as it is. The great diffi- 
culty, to-day, is the incompetency of the actors & their careless- 
ness in dealing with the parts in Guy Mannering, because of the 
old fashioned character of the dialogue 1 Look at the cast of 


the earliest time, in London — what great names were in all 
the subordinate parts ! Get together a company to perform 
these characters as they have been — & still can be — concocted 
by the old actor Terry in conjunction with Wm. Murray & Sir 
Walter Scott himself — who wrote things for the Drama which 
did not exist in the novel — ought to be good enough for the 
audiences of to-day. Let the singers be first rate — the 
acting first rate & the disposition of scenery &c. — as you are 
famous for making it — & its chances are as good as would be 
any of the old plays. The trouble now-a-days exists in the 
actors — they lack respect for the profession — or the characters 
they represent, think too much of how much money they can 
get, & how little they can get ofi' with giving, in the way of real 
labour in their art ! In a word they do not forget themselves 

— & unless one does — he can never be an actor ! Am I right 
or not ? I will send you the book of Guy Mannering in a day or 
so. My letter is for your own eye — In my stricture upon actors 

— of course there are honorable exceptions, & I hope as you have 
found some, you may be able to find more & bring them into 
*Guy Mannering,' when we shall move the town not by the 
startling effects of our strong charcoal sketch but by the grand 
strong finished picture as a zvhole. Believe me dear sir, 

Yours truly 

Charlotte Cushman." 

A little contribution to the general theatrical history 
of the period will not be out of place here. The successful 
entry of Daly into New York theatricals had wrought for 
a time a wonderful change of heart among the old-time 
managers. They resolved to abandon the old policy of 
cut-throat competition and to come together. A meeting 
was called at Booth's Theatre, and those represented agreed 
to form an association for the conduct of their business, 
in which they had a common interest. Mr. Booth's 
brother-in-law, J. H. Magonigle, was made secretary, 
and Fechter, Booth, Wallack, Palmer, Jarrett, and Daly 


were members. This fraternity could be very service- 
able in times of need. Theodore Moss of Wallack's 
applied to Daly for a loan from his extensive company to 
complete the cast of Boucicault's "Mora"; and later in 
the regular season Wallack himself wrote under the stress 
of urgent need : 

"Wallack's, New York, Octr. 20th 1873. 
Dear Mr. Daly 

I am in a dilemma caused by the unprincipled conduct of a 
lady, who has deliberately and without expressed reason, broken 
her written engagement with me. 

Will you assist me ? I ask it because, under like circum- 
stances, I would certainly do as much for you. 

Will you allow me to engage Miss Rogers ^ for a short period 
(to be named by you) to perform 'Miss Hardcastle' in 'She 
Stoops to Conquer'.? 

If you could spare her and thus oblige me I shall appreciate 
your kindness very highly and will hope for some opportunity 
to requite you in kind. 

In any case let me take this opportunity of wishing you all 
success with your new theatre. 

I am 

Very truly yours 

Lester Wallack." 

The New York managers interested themselves about 
this time in a proposed memorial window to Shakespeare 
to be placed in the Stratford Church : 

"139 East 17 St. 

Jan. 5. 
My dear Mr. Daly 

I send you the design for the projected memorial window to 
Shakespeare I have just received from my friend Graves ; do 

'Katharine Rogers, the original Mimi in Boucicault's version of "La 


you not think it would be a graceful thing for the several com- 
panies of New York to identify themselves with the movement 
by a general subscription of a small amount, say one dollar, 
from each individual. Should you agree with me, the proposi- 
tion would come with more force from you than from any other, 
as I am well aware with what energy and perseverance you carry 
out whatever object you undertake. 

Sincerely yours 

John Brougham." 

In a line from Mrs. John Drew, her young son, then a 
mere lad, vv^as now first presented to his future manager. 
John was evidently in New York for a good time : 

"Arch St. Theatre 

Phila. May 28 '73. 
My dear Sir 

If not inconsistent with your regulations will you oblige me 
by giving my son (the bearer of this) two seats for each of your 

Yours truly 

Louisa Drew." 
Aug. Daly Esqr. 

All of my brother's successes as playwright and manager 
for ten years had been immediately produced at Mrs. 
Drew's Arch Street Theatre ; and between the famous 
actress and the New York author there subsisted a warm 

By the end of his first season the Grand Opera House 
began to assume the proportions of a white elephant, and 
the manager recalled to me an incident of his first entry 
into that huge building. He found upon his desk the 
fragment of a leaf from the Bible which had apparently 
blown in through the open window, and which contained 
these verses, quite prophetic of a venture whose loss 
exceeded its profit in a single season : 


"For which of you having a mind to build a tower, doth not 
first sit down and reckon the charges that are necessary, whether 
he have wherewithal to finish it : 

Lest after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish 
it, all that see him begin to mock him, 

Saying : This man began to build and was not able to finish." 

The loveliest spectacle the stage can offer, Shakespeare's 
"Midsummer Night's Dream," opened the second season. 
Harkins was made stage manager, having returned from 
his brief excursion to the Union Square Theatre, the 
prospects of which establishment were somewhat clouded 
by the retirement of Miss Ethel preparatory to her mar- 
riage. The hard-handed men of Athens were : G. L. Fox 
Bottom, Frank Hardenbergh Quince, Leclercq Flute, 
Jennings Snout, and C. K. Fox Snug. For Puck (the 
despair of managers who would realize the ideals of the 
lovers of Shakespeare) Daly found a pretty and intelligent 
child, — "Fay" Templeton. It may be recorded here 
that Mr. Daly's prompt book for this production was 
sought by Miss Cushman for one of her readings. 

Shakespeare was followed by Italian opera under the 
excellent MaxMaretzek, in which Pauline Lucca, Tamber- 
lik, and lima Di Murska made their debuts. Lucca and 
Di Murska sang together In "II Flauto Magico." Shake- 
speare attracted for only three weeks, and Lucca and Di 
Murska could not entice to Twenty-third Street the 
operatic patrons who were tied to their shares and chairs 
in Irving Place. The impresario who sets up Italian 
opera in New York in opposition to the stockholders' 
establishment cannot be saved by prayer. 

The new English version of "The Wandering Jew" was 
now put on. It was the latest Parisian dramatization of 
Eugene Sue's romance; but the wandering Jew, pursued 
by inexorable fate, could not rest even in the comfortable 


Grand Opera House, and he departed as the rumble of 
the railroad train in "Under the Gaslight" was heard 
in the near distance. This revival was in turn supplanted 
by "A Flash of Lightning." 

A hit was finally made in a new pantomime called 
"Humpty Dumpty Abroad," for which Mr. Daly con- 
structed an introduction adapted from a French feerie. 
Fox was now permanently severed by Mr. Duff from the 
Olympic Theatre and installed at the Grand Opera House. 
He was exceedingly funny in farce as well as pantomime ; 
in fact, he was the last of the old-fashioned farce actors. 
He was billed to appear at a charity benefit at the Grand 
Opera House, and the advertisement announced that the 
entertainment would conclude with the fifth act of 
Shakespeare's sublime tragedy "Richard the Third," in 
which Mr. G. L. Fox would sustain the character of 
Richard the Third and Mr. Frederick Yokes that of the 
Earl of Rich?nond. The bare announcement of this 
desecration of the classic drama was sufficient to attract a 
vast audience, which awaited with emotion the respective 
appearances of Fox and Yokes and their desperate combat 
on Bosworth Plain. When it is understood that all the 
characters delivered the immortal lines of Shakespeare 
(and Gibber) with the utmost gravity ; that the falling of 
Fox's steel visor, whenever he attempted to speak, cut 
off most of his lines until he reversed the helmet and wore 
it hindside before ; that one of his steel greaves or leg- 
pieces got loose and was kicked knee high at every step 
he took ; that, in the combat, his Humpty Dumpty 
shuffle was opposed to the incredible agility of Yokes, 
whose Richmond escaped death by feats of legs as well 
as of arms, the whole stupendous joke may be faintly 
realized. Until we have another Fox and another Yokes 
we cannot expect to see again such exquisite fooling. 


The entertainment was further enlivened by Mr. Fox 
selling tickets at the box-office, the Messrs. Vokes acting 
as ushers, and the Misses Vokes obliging at the flower 
stand and distributing programmes. 

Another benefit for the poor was given during the same 
season under the joint supervision of Mr. Wallack and 
Mr. Daly, and they remitted the proceeds to the lady 
patronesses of the affair, at whose head was Mrs. James 
L Roosevelt. The ladies generously resolved to devote 
a portion of the amount to the profession : 

"Mr. Augustin Daly. 

Enclosed please find a check for Nine hunjlred, sixty five 
dollars and 87 cents, being one half of one third of the money 
donated by Mr. Wallack and yourself to the 'Lady Patronesses' 
of the Matinee at the Academy of Music March 19th. 

At a meeting held at Mrs. Sherwood's, the ladies unanimously 
resolved to return one third of the whole amount received to 
Mr. Wallack and yourself to be distributed among the aged and 
indigent actors and actresses of the City. 

I was appointed to receive the money and distribute It 
according to the wishes of the ladies. Permit me to thank you 
in their name for your noble donation. 

Yours with respect 

Cornelia Roosevelt. 

836 Broadway. 
April 30th 

Wallack wrote : 

"May 20th 

13 W. 30th St. 
Dear Daly — 

Fm blessed if I know what we had better do with our Charity 


By jingo, now that I've got money for them — nobody seems 
to be poor. However, I have divided mine into portions of $25. 
each. If I don't find as many as I had anticipated requiring 
relief — I shall make the twenty-fives into fifties and relieve 
a lesser number with larger sums. 

I hope your O. T. was a good success — 

Yours ever truly 

Lester Wallack. 
A. Daly Esq." 

In the summer of 1873 the building of a new Fifth 
Avenue Theatre was begun on Twenty-eighth Street, and 
the recently fitted up New York Theatre (also called the New 
Fifth Avenue) was renamed "Daly's Broadway Theatre," 
and was to be supplied with stars supported by a stock 
company. The first engagement was extremely fortunate. 
It was that of Mdlle. Aimee with "La Fille de Madame 
Angot," a work so superior to the ordinary houffes that it 
was awarded at once by competent critics a place in 
comic opera. Following this brilliant musical attraction 
came some engagements which were unremunerative : 
Miss Minnie Walton, Mr. J. K. Emmett, William H. 
Lingard and his wife, Miss Alice Dunning, Miss Lucille 
Western, Miss Virginia Vaughan, and lastly Miss 
Carlotta Leclercq in a dramatization of Wilkie Collins' 
"The New Magdalen," rehearsed by himself in the 
intervals of a lecture tour in America. 

Hardly was the season of 1873 under way when financial 
disaster overtook the country. The failure of Jay Cooke 
& Co. in the early autumn rendered every security practi- 
cally unmarketable, and caused the suspension of nearly 
every trust company and of all the banks in New York 
save one — the Chemical. People in easy circumstances 
were suddenly reduced to borrow for the ordinary ex- 
penses of life, and everybody had to share with his friend 


in the first extreme period of anxiety. Of course theatrical 
business felt the effect of the financial disaster imme- 
diately. Daly was caught with two theatres open, a 
third building, and three companies to provide for. The 
Daily Graphic, the first daily illustrated newspaper, 
covered the front page of its issue of November ii, 1873, 
with a cartoon representing Daly bending beneath the 
vast burden of the Grand Opera House, and having as 
his sole support a staff labelled "Fifth Avenue Theatre." 
The cartoon was entitled "An Atlas of Theatres." 

THIRD PERIOD: 1 873-1 877 


The New Fifth Avenue Theatre built for Daly. Its cost to him. 
Inciting Americans to write plays. Mark Twain's letters. He 
suggests W. D. Howells. Mr. Howells' letter. Bronson Howard. 
M. Villa of the Courier des Etats Unis. Oliver Wendell Holmes 
writes the opening address for the new theatre. His letters. De- 
lay in opening caused by the panic of 1873. The Company. 
Defection of Miss Morris. Opening of the new house. "Fortune" 
a failure. "The Parricide." Arrival of Miss Ada Dyas from 
England. "Man and Wife." "Folline." Production of "Love's 
Labour's Lost" for the first time in America. Richard Grant 
White's letter. Oakey Hall advises Daly to adapt Shakespeare. 
Production of "Charity." Miss Davenport's "Ruth Tredgett." 
Production of "Monsieur Alphonse." Bijou Heron. Revival 
of "Divorce" and "Oliver Twist." The bad beginning makes a 
good end. 

On the site of the present Fifth Avenue Theatre on Twenty- 
eighth Street near Broadway, there once stood Ferrero's 
dancing academy, or Apollo Hall, afterwards converted 
into the little St. James Theatre, where Susan and Blanche 
Galton (the latter afterwards Mrs. Thomas Whiffen of 
"Pinafore" fame) played vaudeville, and Steele Mackaye 
first displayed his Delsarte system of acting. The prop- 
erty belonged to the Gilsey family, and they offered to 
build a theatre upon it for Mr. Daly according to his own 
designs, the interior and stage to be fitted up and furnished 
at his own expense, and the rent to be thirty thousand 
dollars per annum for the first five years, and thirty-five 
thousand afterwards. The offer was accepted, although 
the furnishing and fitting up involved a cost of about forty 
thousand dollars before the doors were opened. The 
building was to be ready in September, 1873, in time for the 



opening of the regular season. This contract was made at 
the time of the greatest inflation of prices after the war ; 
namely, in the spring of 1873. Mr. Daly ordered from 
Gariboldi, for the decoration of the great space above the 
elliptical proscenium arch, a reproduction of his "Crown- 
ing of Comedy" which had embellished the ceiling of the 
old Fifth Avenue Theatre. A crimson satin drop curtain 
— the first of the kind ever shown in a theatre — was to 
be one of the surprises of the opening night. The new 
playhouse was to be called "The New Fifth Avenue 
Theatre." It should be noted that the entrance at that 
time was on Twenty-eighth Street. 

Daly was active in exciting among the literary Ameri- 
cans of the day the ambition to win fame as playwrights. 
The first he approached was Mark Twain, who responded 
modestly to repeated solicitations : 

"Hartford, May 4. 
My dear Daly, 

One of these days, somewhere in the future, I may surprise 
and grieve you by reminding you of that invitation, & propos- 
ing to revive it; but I mean to have the modesty to serve a 
decent apprenticeship before I make such a lofty venture. 

I never tried the stage before ; but by re-writing Peter Spyk, 
I managed to change the language & the character to a degree 
that enabled me to talk the one & represent the other after a 
fashion — but I am not equal to the Metropolitan boards yet. 

Yrs. sincerely 

Saml. L. Clemens. 
But mind, I thank you for the compliment of the invitation 

"Elmira, N. Y., Aug. 14. 
My dear Mr. Daly, 

I will hope that in the course of time I will be so situated that 
I can make the attempt, but I am debarred now by a book con- 
tract which I keep shirking and dodging but which I can't 


venture to shirk any longer. There is more money in books 
than in plays, but still, when I get the chance I shall be cheer- 
fully willing to intrude further upon the dramatic field. 

Yrs. truly 

Saml. L. Clemens." 

"Farmington Avenue, Hartford. 
My dear Mr. Daly, Oct. 29. 

Although I am not able to write a play now, there are better 
men that can. Would it not be well worth your while to pro- 
voke W. D. Howells of the Atlantic Monthly into writing a 
play? My reason for making the suggestion is that I think he 
is writing a play. I by no means know this, but I guess it from 
a remark dropped by an acquaintance of his. I know Howells 
well, but he has not confided anything of the kind to me. Still, 
I think if you and Bronson are done with your fight (I mean the 
newspaper one) it would be a right good thing to hurl another 
candidate into the jaws of the critics. 

I am not meaning to intrude & hope I am not. 

Yrs. truly 

Saml. L. Clemens." 

When his play of "Ah Sin" was finally submitted to 
Mr. Daly, it needed more altering than Bronson Howard's 
first draft of "Saratoga." 

A brief note pencilled upon a post card is characteristic : 

"7 A.M. Wedn'dy. 
I can only tender my regrets & compliments & say I am at 
this moment leaving for that bourne from whence no traveler 
returns when sober (Elmira, N.Y.) Excuse haste & a bad postal 
card. Yrs. truly 

S. L. Clemens." 

Mr. Daly did venture in accordance with Mark Twain's 
suggestion gently to "provoke" Mr. Howells into writing 
a play, and received the following : 


"Cambridge, Mass. 
• Nov. 14, 1874. 
My dear Sir : — 

Do not suppose from the great deliberation with which I 
answer your obliging letter that I was not very glad indeed to 
get it. 

I have long had the notion of a play, which I have now 
briefly exposed to Mr. Clemens, and which he thinks will do. 
It's against it, I suppose, that it's rather tragical, but perhaps 
— certainly if you've ever troubled yourself with my undramatic 
writings, — you know that I can't deal exclusively in tragedy, 
and I think I could make my play in some parts such a light 
affair that many people would never know how deeply they 
ought to have been moved by it. 

I have also the idea of a farce or vaudeville of strictly Ameri- 
can circumstances. 

Of course I'm a very busy man, and I must do these plays in 
moments of leisure from my editorial work. I'm well aware 
that I can't write a good play by inspiration, and when I've 
sketched my plots and done some scenes I shall, with your 
leave, send them for your criticism. 

Yours very truly, 

W. D. Howells." 

Bronson Howard was busily engaged with a new theme 
which was subsequently to take shape as "Moorcroft" : 

" My dear Mr. Daly, 

Your favor of the i8th with check enclosed ($70) is before me, 
for which my thanks. I am now at work on the John Hay idea 
play which I spoke to you about more than a year ago — you 
have probably forgotten it. I know the story of this will be 
novel and striking. What success I may have in working up 
an essentially serious play remains to be seen ; my success in the 
case of " Lilian's Last Love," from your standpoint, was not, 
certainly, encouraging. But I am particularly anxious to have 
at least one successful serious play. I know my forte is the 


other way, (as well as my tastes) but it seems so strongly for 
my interest before the public to lay aside the cap and bells at 
least once that I shall make a strong effort. I have found 
society here an allurement and an interference ; indeed I con- 
fess to having been 'lazy' for several months — the first time 
for many years. 

I shall try to work up 'The First of May' in the rollicking 
fun way in time for its natural and proper season next year. 

During a recent visit to Chicago, by the way, I met Bartley 
Campbell. Have you seen any of his plays .^ 'Peril' and 
'Fate' I am told are good. His 'Risks,' recently produced, 
which I saw, was hastily constructed but showed signs of 
excellent ingenuity in the way of plot — the direction in which 
I feel a desert-like barrenness sometimes. I feel you could 
use Campbell to good advantage with some of your attention — 
such as you have given to me. How he would be in working 
up details I cannot say ; but if he comes in your way I think it 
will pay you to give him attention and encouragement. 

As soon as I can get my present work into an understand- 
able form you shall see it, of course. 

Your sincere friend 
Bronson C. Howard. 
Detroit, June 20, 1873." 

M. Villa of the Courier des Etats Unis, an enthusiastic 
admirer of Mr. Daly's adaptations from the French, 
called his attention to the "Monsieur Alphonse" of Alex- 
ander Dumas fils, which had just made the greatest 
success in twenty years at the Paris Gymnase, the theatre 
of emotional modern dramas ; and Augustin secured it 
through the agency of Mrs. Olive Logan Sikes. He con- 
sulted Mr. James R. Osgood of Boston on the subject of 
an opening address to be written by either John G. 
Whittier or Oliver Wendell Holmes. Acting upon the 
suggestion of Mr. Osgood, the task was proposed to Dr. 
Holmes. His letters will be found interesting : 


My dear Sir, " ^°st°"' Nov. 3d, 1873. 

I should like to have a day or two to think of your polite 
proposition. On Wednesday of this week I think I can send you 
my answer, which I hope will be in season whether it is affirma- 
tive or the contrary. Very truly yours, 

O. W. Holmes." 

My dear Sir, " Boston Nov. 5th, 1873. 

I have been writing at an Address or Prologue at such inter- 
vals as I could command and have finished just fifty lines, which 
must grow to nearer a hundred before the poem will properly 
finish itself. I hope by the end of this week to mail you the 
first draught. I think it would be well for you to send me a 
few words either of local allusion or in some way indicating a 
point or two that might be adapted to your audience. I do 
not know that you have fixed on the play for the evening, but 
if you have I should like well enough to know what it is. In 
fact any little hint with local character might prove useful, 
though of course I can get along without it. 

Mr. Osgood thinks that two hundred and fifty dollars would 
be a fair honorarium for my performance, to which I should 
add if it suits you, otherwise nothing, and quite welcome to 
my attempt to please you. yQ^j.3 ^^^^ ^^^j^ 

O. W. Holmes." 

My dear Sir, "Boston, Nov. 7th, 1873. 

I send you the draught I promised. If it pleases you I shall 
be gratified — if you have any suggestions to make I shall be 
happy to receive and consider them. 

I never let anything go before the public without correcting 
the printed proof myself. If you like the poem and will send me 
the manuscript back for any alterations, I will, if you wish, 
have a copy or two privately printed by a printer who is quite 
safe, and send it to you in that authentic form. 

I should be glad to hear from you as soon as it is convenient. 

Yours very truly, 
O. W. Holmes." 


"296 Beacon St., Boston. 
Nov. 13 th, 1873. 
My dear Sir, 

I am glad you are pleased with the Prologue. I shall avail 
myself of your hints in certain additions made and making, and 
send you the new draught this week or next as soon as it is 

Yours very truly. 
O. W. Holmes. 

I am so busy with my lectures at the College that I am 
afraid it will be impossible for me to come on to New York." 

"Boston, Nov. 21st, 1873. 
My dear Sir, 

I send you No. 2 of my privately printed copies of the address 
as I have completed it, taking advantage of your hints. I 
hope it will please you. 

It aspires to something more than the dignity of a Prologue ; 
it is longer and more elaborate, as seems fitting for so important 
an occasion. I should therefore call it An Address. 

If this suits you, as I hope and trust that it may, I will send 
you some additional copies to be distributed at the proper time 
after its delivery, or if you choose, just before, in time for the 
next issue if any of those wish to print it. Please tell me if 
you would like half a dozen more. 

No person has seen or heard one word of this address, not 
even a member of my own family, except myself, the printer 
and any to whom you may have shown it. The types were 
at once distributed and all vestiges of it at the office destroyed 
by my own confidential printer. 

I am, my dear sir. 

Yours very truly 
O. W. Holmes. 

I hope you will let me know if this amended copy is to 
your mind." 


"Boston, Nov. 24th, 1873. 
Dear Mr. Daly 

I have just received your note containing the cheque, for 
which please accept my acknowledgments. I am very glad 
that the address pleases you. I meant that it should if I could 
make it do so. 

You will see that I have made two light corrections. The 
semi-colon after 'violin' on the third page should be a comma, 
and I have made it so by erasing the dot. 

On the last page I changed 'climbing' to 'creeping' because 
it is not correct to speak of climbing up and down. One can- 
not climb down. Will you have the kindness to make these 
alterations in the copy I have already sent you. 

It strikes me that the place for lifting the curtain will be just 
as the lines 

'The crash is o'er, the crinkling curtain furled, 
And lo ! the glories of that brighter world !' 

are being delivered. My idea would be that as the word 
crinkling is uttering the curtain should begin to crinkle and then 
slowly rise, and show the scene, whatever that may be. The 
members of the Company might be there, or make their ap- 
pearance at the line — 

'There are the wizards,' etc. 

I give you my inexperienced idea of the matter, but of course 
you know a thousand times better than I do. 

I am disposed to think that it is quite as important that the 
Address should read well in the papers for the great outside 
public as speak well for those who are in the house to hear it. 
I have tried to give it that finish in its execution which will fit 
it for careful and even critical reading. Whether I have suc- 
ceeded, others will have to decide. With my best hopes for 
your success in your spirited enterprise 

I am, my dear Sir 

Yours very truly 
O. W. Holmes." 


The splendid company of the Fifth Avenue Theatre 
was kept together in active practice through a period of 
delay in the completion of the new house caused by the 
financial panic already mentioned, the worst ever expe- 
rienced in the United States, which occurred in September, 
1873, and which interfered with every building operation. 
The expense of maintaining his company for a period of 
three months was met by making a series of out-of-town 
engagements. Nothing was to be expected from the Grand 
Opera House nor from 728 Broadway, now called "The 
Broadway Theatre." "A Midsummer Night's Dream," 
gorgeously produced at the former, wilted away under mid- 
summer day heat ; and the little house, after doing a roar- 
ing business for a few weeks with Mdlle. Aimee and "La 
Fille de Madame Angot," became a pitiful burden on the 
manager's shoulders. To add to his difficulties, Miss Clara 
Morris left the company while it was on tour, and en- 
gaged to play at the Union Square Theatre when his new 
house opened. She had been regularly with the com- 
pany in its brief visits out of town, and played in the 
famous repertoire of the Fifth Avenue Theatre : "Divorce," 
"Fernande," "New Year's Eve," "Alixe," and "Frou- 
Frou." The tour opened in each city with "Divorce," 
as it had been written expressly to display the talent of 
all the members of the company, and therefore served as 
the best introduction of the famous organization to new 
audiences. In Cincinnati, it happened that the comedy 
scenes elicited more applause than the serious and emo- 
tional parts, and Miss Morris gave notice of an intention 
not to appear again in "Divorce" as the opening play. 
Her contract for the current season was to play three 
months from September i to November 30, and for four 
months in the ensuing spring. In the interval she was free 
to make starring engagements ; but it was expressly stipu- 


lated that she was not to play at any other theatre than 
Mr. Daly's in New York from the date of the contract 
until its termination, without his consent. Before her 
first three months were up Miss Morris retired from the 
company ; and about a fortnight before Mr. Daly opened 
his new theatre, she was announced to appear with Shook 
& Palmer at the Union Square. 

Mr. Daly was privately much affected by the thought 
that the ability which he had fostered and developed 
should fail him at this critical period, but he took no steps 
to enforce his contract. He had been grieved the year 
before by Miss Ethel's going to the same house (though 
after her contract with him had expired) and helping to 
establish his rival. Such defections never failed to wound 
him, and that is why he has extolled so often in his writ- 
ings loyalty of players to managers. It is a question 
whether the gift which he possessed for discovering and 
developing unsuspected talent for the stage did not re- 
quire for its exercise such trials as now occurred ; and 
whether the temporary loss he sustained might not be a 
very decided gain to the public, which loves better to wel- 
come new candidates for its favor than consistently to sup- 
port the old. It is quite in harmony with this view that 
we find the ambitious desiring to go out and reap the whole 
harvest of their talent for themselves without particular 
regard for the toil of the sower. In the field of labor called 
the stage, the harvest time is short, and there are some- 
times long droughts, even in the season of popular favor. 

It was during this period of hard work and heavy re- 
sponsibilities that my brother's second boy was born, 
whom he named after us both, — Francis Augustin. 

it: ***** * 

"Excellent music by Mr. Dodworth's band was the 
prelude. Miss Fanny Morant then came before the 


curtain and spoke the first half of an original address by 
Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. At a certain point the cur- 
tain parted, disclosing the entire company ranged upon 
the stage, and Mr. Daly came forward and bowed in 
acknowledgment of the vociferous calls and the hearty 
public plaudits. The other half of Dr. Holmes' address 
was then spoken — and that with excellent spirit and dis- 
cretion by Mr. Frank Hardenbergh. The assembled com- 
pany, a noble and interesting group, received emphatic 
recognition and welcome. There were twenty-eight 
persons on the stage." Thus, the foremost dramatic 
critic of the day described the opening of the new theatre 
on Thursday, December 3, 1873. Dr. Holmes' address 
was printed in all the leading daily newspapers, and is to 
be found in the edition of his complete works, under the 
title "Address for the opening of the Fifth Avenue Theatre, 
New York, December 3, 1873." 

The opening address was the best feature of the night 
(except the faces on the stage), for the new play "For- 
tune," written expressly for the occasion by Albery, was 
disappointing to the last degree. This was utterly un- 
expected, and Daly now experienced, for the first time in 
his career, disappointment on the opening night of a 
season. His regret was all the greater as he had chosen 
my birthday for the inauguration of his new enterprise. 
His physical labors for forty-eight hours in preparing for 
the opening were so exhausting that he fell asleep for a 
moment behind the scenes during a part of the performance. 
However, before the play was over, he posted a notice 
calling his company for rehearsals of several old and recent 
favorites: "Old Heads and Young Hearts," "London 
Assurance," "New Year's Eve," and "Alixe"; and the 
succeeding week saw them all performed. In "Alixe" 
Miss Jewett took Miss Morris' part. 


It is probable that no other manager in the world has 
withdrawn so promptly pieces that failed to receive favor 
on a first performance. Theatrical records furnish innu- 
merable instances of such failures converted into lasting 
successes. Beaumarchais' "Barber of Seville," pro- 
duced a hundred years before, is a notable instance. The 
opening representation was hissed, the second rapturously 
applauded. To be sure the work was overhauled, cut 
and patched to cure its defects, but even then Madame 
du DefFand thought it detestable. The instinct of most 
managers who have spent labor and money upon a play 
is to persist in the conviction that it is worthy of the ex- 
penditure and that the public will ultimately come to its 
senses with regard to it. In England it has not been un- 
common to see a play which has languished for several 
weeks suddenly begin to flourish, and at last outlive the 
most hopeful anticipation. There it is considered that the 
small percentage of patrons of the stage gathered on a first 
night (including the blase and jaded habitues of such occa- 
sions) do not fairly represent the whole theatrical public. 
Daly was not content to wait for the merits of his produc- 
tions to circulate slowly in the community. 

Within two weeks after the unfortunate production of 
"Fortune," a new play from Paris, "The Parricide," was 
rehearsed and produced. This play had for theme one 
of those problems which absorb the readers of Gaboriau, 
du Boisgobey, and Conan Doyle. The murder of an 
elderly wealthy woman by a mysterious criminal is laid 
at the door first of her companion, an innocent young 
girl, and then of her son, a harmless viveur of the Parisian 
type. It was produced on December 17 with Fisher, 
Hardenbergh, Louis James, George Clarke, Sara Jewett, 
Marianne Conway, Nina Varian, Mrs. Gilbert, and Miss 


But the event which Mr. Daly had in reserve for the 
season was the debut of Miss Ada Dyas, who now ar- 
rived from England. Her engagement was made upon 
competent opinion that she was a "thoroughly trained 
leading actress of the best school." Wyndham thought 
so highly of her that he intended to bring her to America 
with a company. She added the distinction of good 
breeding and careful education to youth and a handsome 
and refined face and figure. She instantly won the favor 
of a very critical audience assembled at the Fifth Avenue 
Theatre, as Anne Sylvester in a revival of "Man and Wife" 
on January 3, 1874. Anne Sylvester, portrayed by Miss 
Morris as a passionate, emotional creature, was now 
represented as a woman of not less intense feeling, whose 
wrongs burned through a surface of womanly dignity and 
calm. She next appeared as the young married heroine 
of Sardou's recent Parisian success "La Maison Neuve, " 
a satire upon young France breaking away from tradi- 
tions in domestic and business life; the changing of the 
shop into the "Emporium" and the old-fashioned flat 
into the gorgeous apartment. Under the name of "Fol- 
line," the new play was given on January 27, 1874, with 
Miss Dyas in the title role. 

A Shakespearian revival, the invariable feature of every 
Daly season, occurred on February 21. It was "Love's 
Labour's Lost," and was presented with an extraordinary 
list of performers. It was as great a novelty as any new 
play, for it had never before been seen by a New York 
audience, as we are informed by Richard Grant White 
and Joseph N. Ireland : 

"118 East loth Street 
My dear Sir F^^^^- ^Sth, 1878. 

I never heard or read of Love's Labour's Lost having been 
performed in New York. My own reminiscences of the Park 


Theatre & indeed of any theatre, date only from 1845; but 
since that time I am sure the play has never been performed 
here, & indeed I have never heard of its having been performed 
anywhere within the memory of living men, which does not 
surprise me, considering the structure & dramatic motive of 
the play. 

I thank you for your proffered compliment of a box on the 
first evening & shall hold myself disengaged. 

With sincere wishes for your success on this occasion & all 

I am dear Sir 

Yours very truly, 

Richd. Grant White. 
Augustin Daly Esqr." 

Mr. Joseph N. Ireland, compiler of the authoritative 
"Records of the New York Stage," was positive that New 
York had never witnessed "Love's Labour's Lost." It was 
a delight to Daly to make his generation acquainted with 
anything that was rare in the Shakespearian drama. 
There was of course no hope of profit in the costly produc- 
tion of a work which had not tempted even Burton or 
Wallack. It was indeed a labor of love — not wholly lost. 

Miss Ada Dyas was The Princess of France, Miss Fanny 
Davenport Rosaline, Miss Sara Jewett Maria, Miss Nina 
Varian Katharine, Miss Nellie Mortimer Jaquenetta, Miss 
Stella Congdon Moth, Davidge Holofernes, Fisher Don 
Adriano de Armado, Harkins King of Navarre, Clarke 
Biron, Louis James Longaville, Hart Conway Dumain, 
Hardenbergh Boyet, De Veau Mercade, Whitney Sir Na- 
thaniel, Chapman A Forester, J. G. Peakes Hiems, Gilbert 
and Beekman Lords, James Lewis Costard, and Owen 
Fawcett Dull. 

The lively Oakey Hall took it for granted that when 
his intelligent friend Daly deliberately brought out a play 


there must be something interesting in it, and spent an hour 
or two reading "Love's Labour's Lost " (as nearly everybody 
did when it was announced) for the purpose of becoming 
familiar enough with the lines to enjoy the representation. 
The result in Mr. Hall's case was a pencilled note : 

"Dear A. 

. . I read myself stupid over L. L. Lost. Read it in 3 originals 
by aid of illustrations & notes, etc. A series of fine poetical 
readings, but won't you dress it up and write in some plot and 
fun and introduce three or four Charaktorrs ! Adapt Shake, 
by all means & provide beds in the boxes. 


O. K. 

This is Sarkasm !" 

There were two important pieces of the modern school 
which Mr. Daly had acquired for the present season, and 
which were to be produced in quick succession. One was 
"Charity," a serious comedy by W. S. Gilbert, and the 
other "Monsieur Alphonse," the work of Alexander 
Dumas fils. 

"Charity" was produced March 3, 1874, with a cloud 
upon it, cast by the unfavorable criticisms of the London 
press, which variously termed it "blurred and indefinite 
m results," "unsatisfactory and unpleasant," "tedious 
and morbid." Its presentation by Daly's Company 
showed it to be an absorbing play, growing in interest and 
power from scene to scene and act to act. Miss Dyas 
was Mrs. Van Brugh, Miss Davenport Ruth Tredgett, Miss 
Jewett Eve, Miss Griffiths Caroline, Harkins Ted, H^rden- 
bergh Smailey, Clarke Fred, Lewis Fitzpartington, Davidge 
Skinner, and Chapman Butler. Every actor of a principal 
part made an individual hit; but the appearance of Miss 
Fanny Davenport, hitherto the representative of fashion, 


beauty, and comedy, in the rags of Ruth Tredgett, with 
matted, straggling hair and furtive, hunted eyes, acted 
upon the audience hke an electric shock. As if recognizing 
immediately her true dramatic instincts and feeling the 
promise of power to come, they broke into the wildest 
welcome ; and then watched with eagerness through the 
play the truth with which she struck every note of the 
character. The play ran for six weeks to most appre- 
ciative spectators after its production on March 12, 1874. 
It was then still running in England at the Haymarket. 

"Monsieur Alphonse" succeeded "Charity," and was 
presented on April 14, 1874, by the same principals, sup- 
plemented by a remarkable little girl. Bijou Heron, the 
only child of the once famous Matilda Heron and the 
composer Stoepel. Mrs. Stoepel had at this time given 
up the stage and lost all her pupils, and had reached a 
stage of dejection which is distressingly set forth in the 
letters of her friends. In "Bijou" (Helene Stoepel), how- 
ever, she possessed a veritable treasure, whose grace and 
intelligence the new play introduced to audiences which 
still remembered her mother's notable debut sixteen years 
before, "Monsieur Alphonse" was played forty-six 

The final novelty of the season (after a brief revival of 
"Divorce" with Miss Dyas as Fanny Ten Eyck) was a 
dramatization of "Oliver Twist" with Bijou Heron as the 
innocent Oliver, Miss Davenport as the tragic Nancy, 
Davidge as Bumble, Fisher as Fagin, James Lewis as The 
Artful Dodger, and Louis James in the most realistic 
delineation of the rufhan Bill Sykes ever as yet seen on the 
New York stage, although it had witnessed many forceful 
impersonations of that forbidding character. 

The theatre closed on June 6, 1874, and the company 
went out for a tour lasting until July 4. It had played 


continuously forty-four weeks. Against what siege of 
troubles the manager had had to take up arms during that 
period has been already stated. The season began in a 
time of appalling financial distress, involved great finan- 
cial burdens, was seriously threatened by desertions from 
his company, was disappointing in its opening, and yet 
witnessed some of his most striking managerial successes. 


Daly contracts his activities. Closes out the Broadway Theatre on 
terms. Will continue the Grand Opera House with Fox. Fox 
deserts the Opera House and opens the Broadway. Daly closes 
out the Opera House on terms. Account of the two theatres after- 
wards. Harrigan and Hart build the Theatre Comique on Broad- 
way. Their peculiar plays described. Poole and Donnelly make 
a cheap and popular theatre of the Grand Opera House. Daly 
helps Davenport in Philadelphia. Theatre in Albany. Miss 
Fanny Morant deserts to the Union Square. Miss Emily Rigl 
joins Daly's. Sol Smith Russell. Miss Anna Dickinson. Miss 
Kate Field. Engagement offered the Kendalls. Season of 
1874-1875. "What Should She Do? Or Jealousy." "The Fast 
Family" a great hit. Daly's strong company. His leading 
women. Weakness of Wallack's. Montague imported. J. L. 
Toole brought over, and a failure. Wallack's opinion of the 
powerful competition. Shook & Palmer, and their disappoint- 
ment with "The Sphynx." Daly needs plays. Bret Harte to 
be assisted by Boucicault. The latter's conference with Daly. 
Asks advice about "The Shaughraun." Doesn't think much 
of "The Two Orphans." Will collaborate with Bret Harte. 
His cast raisonnee for " Kentuck." Miss Ada Dyas goes. Daly 
puts on "The School for Scandal" with Miss Davenport as 
Lady Teazle and makes a hit. Excellent acting of James, Clarke, 
and Fisher. "The Hanging of the Crane" and "The Critic" not 
popular. Howard's "Moorcroft" a failure. Attacks on the press 
by the author, "The School for Scandal" revived. Clarke 
deserts in the middle of the performance. 

Early this year, 1874, Daly became satisfied that his 
theories of management could not be operated in several 
theatres. It was utterly distasteful to him to be what 
he called a "janitor manager," opening the door for inde- 
pendent troupes and locking it after each disappeared. 
He closed the "Broadway" and began negotiations with 
A. T. Stewart's agent for the relinquishment of the re- 



maining year of the lease. Mr. Stewart's agent quite 
readily entertained a proposition to take over the theatre 
with all its improvements and to take indorsed notes for 
the rent in arrears. The Grand Opera House remained. 
There was some attractiveness about getting up great 
productions there, and, with Fox as a feature in pantomime 
and spectacle, some hope of profit. But suddenly that 
popular comedian terminated his long engagement with 
his old friend Mr. Duff, and consequently with Mr. Daly, 
and withdrew from the Grand Opera House. 

His purpose was quite a mystery until it was shortly 
after advertised that he was to take the theatre which Mr. 
Daly had just given up, and which was now to be called 
"Fox's Broadway Theatre." The smoothness of the late 
negotiations was now explained. 

The loss of Fox closed any outlook for the Grand Opera 
House, and the obvious policy was to get out of an under- 
taking of which this last desertion had made Augustin 
heartily sick. So far, there had been sunk in the enter- 
prise a hundred and twenty thousand dollars, including the 
fifteen thousand paid as bonus or premium for the lease, 
and the cost of the improvements. The proprietors of 
the property, The Erie Railway Company, under the new 
management which succeeded the extraordinary admin- 
istration of James Fisk, Jr., consented to a surrender of the 
remainder of the term if the lessee also surrendered the 
scenery and properties and gave indorsed notes for the 
rent due. This arrangement was carried out. 

It is instructive to glance at the subsequent history 
of the two theatres which Daly could not make profitable. 
In less than six weeks Fox failed at the Broadway and 
retired, defeated, from his venture. He had been for years 
receiving a salary of ^400 a week from Mr. DuflF, but had 
recently conceived the idea that he had been slaving 


while his manager was reposing upon a bed of roses, and 
that it was now time for the toiler to gather a fortune for 
himself instead of rolling it up for others. The result was 
not uncommon ; he found that the art of acting and the 
art of management are utterly different gifts. 

After Fox's failure the unfortunate theatre passed 
through sixteen different managements in five years with 
long intervals of darkness. Then Harrigan and Hart, 
two well-known variety actors, leased the ground, demol- 
ished the old church, and built a very handsome "New 
Theatre Comique," in which for three years they produced 
with varying success Mr. Harrigan's peculiar plays ; but 
as Christmas 1884 was approaching the theatre was 
burned to the ground. It was never rebuilt. 

The Harrigan plays had neither plot nor coherence, but 
they drew audiences which seemed to spring from the 
ground. Irish and negro life in the congested districts, 
with their convivial meetings, weddings, excursions, 
feuds, and frolics, to which the simple German element 
(designated as "the Dutch") contributed their part, 
were the stock attractions, repeated over and over again 
under different names. Harrigan was usually the pros- 
perous saloon keeper, conservative and sententious. Hart 
was at his best in petticoats as a wholesome kitchen-maid 
of sunny disposition. Two types of Hibernians were 
the roystering, reckless laborer on the "big pipes," and 
the parsimonious shopkeeper. In the negro quarter one 
saw with what solemnity the African took his amusements, 
and with what suddenness he passed from peace to war 
and developed unexpected social accomplishments with 
the razor. Nothing was extenuated or softened. At the 
steamboat dock the young street tough, with his equally 
tough slip of a girl, both well known to the ticket seller, 
approaches and tenders a five-dollar bill. The latter 


gazes at it suspiciously and inquires, "Does your father 
know you've got this?" "Naw," is the reply, "he 
thinks my brother took it." And the couple pass on to 
a day of pastoral enjoyment. 

The problem of making the huge Grand Opera House 
successful was also solved when a local patronage was 
created ; but this was not until the house had had a check- 
ered career under eight different managements and long 
intervals of abandonment. Then two men, Poole and 
Donnelly, opened the magnificent structure as a place of 
cheap amusement. They reduced the price of admission 
more than one-half ; and whereas former managers were 
unable to make both ends meet with a rent of twenty-five 
thousand dollars, the new lessees could ultimately stand 
an enormous rental of fifty thousand dollars. The dis- 
tinguished companies of Wallack's, the Union Square, and 
the Fifth Avenue frequently began or ended a fall or 
spring tour with an engagement of one or two weeks at 
the Grand Opera House, the art-loving populace of the 
West Side waiting patiently until the atti actions of the 
costlier theatres could be witnessed from fifty-cent fau- 
teuils. It may be mentioned, in connection with Mr. Daly's 
wise determination to concentrate his efforts upon one 
theatre, that he had for a little while helped Mr. F. L. 
Davenport's management in Philadelphia, and had even 
assisted an Albany theatre venture, but had declined an 
offer to manage a new opera house in Newark. 

After the first season at the new theatre Miss Morant 
also went over to the Union Square. Before the season 
ended she had written to Mr. Daly : 

"Since you have given the Madame Valorys ('Mothers 
with grown-up daughters') to your leading Juvenile Lady and 
the heavy character parts to your Comedy Lady I see nothing 
for me in the future but discontent and discomfort." 


The allusions were, first to casting Miss Dyas in the parts 
of Mrs. Van Brugh in " Charity " and Raymonde in "Mon- 
sieur Alphonse," and next to giving Miss Davenport the 
roles of Ruth Tredgett and Mme. Guichard. Miss Morant 
broke her contract and joined the forces of Shook & 
Palmer. An action was instituted by Mr. Daly against 
Miss Morant in the Superior Court in order to confirm 
the right to enjoin actors under contract with one manager 
from transferring their services to another. He obtained 
an injunction, which, however, he immediately waived ; 
and he permitted Miss Morant to play in the rival estab- 
lishment. It may be noticed here that Miss Kate Claxton 
had joined the forces there the preceding season, and so 
had George Parkes a year before. Miss Morant was 
therefore the sixth graduate of the Fifth Avenue Theatre 
to adorn the boards of the Union Square. 

Two new names appeared on the company roll for the 
season of 1874-1875. Sol Smith Russell had been for 
some years a monologue entertainer whose imitation 
(among others) of the European lecturer Gough was a neat 
bit of mimicry ; he now gratified a desire to have a regular 
dramatic training. And theatregoers who remembered 
the ballet of the "Black Crook" and the front row of 
pretty juvenile coryphees were agreeably surprised to learn 
that one of them, Miss Emily Rigl, had been studying for 
the English stage and was to appear this season at Daly's. 
Her sister, the premiere danseuse Betty Rigl, who divided 
with Mdlles. Bonfanti and Sangalli the honors of that 
famous production, had, like so many of the troupe, be- 
come a permanent resident of the United States. Emily 
had been seen infrequently with her sister in ballet, but 
of late had been devoting herself to her new ambition, 
which intelligence, personal charm, and aptitude fully 


About this time the idea of embracing the theatrical 
profession was entertained by the distinguished pohtical 
lecturer Miss Anna Dickinson, and Mr. Daly was thought 
by her to be a competent guide in such a delicate and 
momentous undertaking. A similar ambition on the part 
of Miss Kate Field, also well known in the ranks of lec- 
turers and writers, brought her to Mr. Daly. Taglioni 
had urged her and Wallack had encouraged her to " adopt 
the footlights." It may be said briefly here that circum- 
stances prevented both the ladies from making an ap- 
pearance under my brother's management. 

The earliest offers from an American manager to the 
Kendalls came from Mr. Daly. Through Mr. French he 
offered them a hundred pounds a week at his own theatre, 
for two seasons ; three months to be devoted to starring, 
the profit of which was to be shared equally. The Ken- 
dalls asked for some additions, including four "benefits" 
of half gross receipts in seven months in New York. 
Six months afterwards Mr. Daly's offer was two hundred 
pounds a week. Mr. Kendall required two hundred and 
fifty; but soon all thoughts of coming to America were 
postponed, owing to the illness of Mrs. Kendall's mother. 
They did not visit the United States until many years 
afterwards, when their position on the English stage had 
grown to the importance, if not the eminence, once pos- 
sessed by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kean. 

The season of 1 874-1 875 was opened with a new drama 
from the French of Edmond About, "Germaine," called 
"What Should She Do ; or Jealousy." It was not a suc- 
cess. The story was morbid, but not so unpleasant as 
Octave Feuillet's "Sphynx," which was seen a month later 
at the Union Square with Miss Morris in the principal part, 
a part which her talent could not make endurable. Miss 
Davenport had the chief part in About's drama. 


There is something mysterious in the effect of a first 
performance upon the material of a play. Up to that 
time it may have revealed nothing of structural weakness, 
it may have read like an absorbing novel, hurrying the 
reader from scene to scene, piling sensation upon sensation, 
bewildering by variety, and thrilling by appeal. Through 
the rehearsals it may seem to grow in cogency and force ; 
the actors may strut in confident expectation of their 
"hits"; and yet, in that marvellous alembic of the first 
night, everything may vanish but dregs of dulness. 

With his customary promptness the unsuccessful drama 
was withdrawn by Mr. Daly, and ten days after, a 
brilliant success was presented — Sardou's "La Famille 
Benoiton," adapted and called "The Fast Family," 
in which Miss Dyas was Clothilde, Miss Jewett Blanche, 
Harkins Didier, Louis James Hector, Jennings For- 
michel, Fawcett Prudent, Hardenbergh Monsieur Benoiton, 
Hart Conway his nephew Francois, Stella Congdon 
and Bijou Heron his young sons Polydore and Fanfan, 
and Emily Rigl and Nina Varian his daughters Rose and 
Camille. My brother wrote to me : 

"New York, September 6, 1874. 
. . . The Fast Family last night was quite a success. That 
Is, it went off with roars of laughter — 2 recalls — and not a 
hitch before a $900 house. So well was it received, in fact, 
that I am going to try it all the week; so as to give me more 
time on The School for Scandal. I do wish you could come down 
with Emma & see that revival. I think it will be a night of 
nights. I'll do it on Saturday the 12th. I have made a very 
good and close acting play and I think it will go." 

It appears from this letter also that Miss Dyas did not 
like her part in "The Fast Family," "though," as the 
letter states, "she made a hit in it." 


The immediate recovery from the failure of the opening 
piece proved that Mr. Daly possessed in his company a 
working force which no other theatre could boast, and 
which, in the then deplorable condition of theatricals, 
made his management conspicuous. His was the only 
theatre which possessed a leading woman for serious parts 
(Ada Dyas) and a leading woman for comedy (Fanny 
Davenport), three leading men, Clarke, Harkins, and 
Louis James, and four comedians, James Lewis, Harden- 
bergh, Davidge, and Fawcett. Wallack had to import a 
leading man, H. J. Montague, but was still without an 
actress of the necessary reputation and ability for princi- 
pal roles. A letter from Wallack a little later (when my 
brother was getting up the annual benefit for the Found- 
ling Asylum) indicates how critical the veteran manager 
thought the period : 

"I will do everything to aid you except act myself. You 
will, as a manager, I'm sure understand how much importance 
(in these days of powerful competition) my first appearance is 
to me. It represents more money than I could well afi^ord to 

A year before this, Edwin Booth had retired defeated 
from his own magnificent new theatre on the corner of 
Twenty-third Street and Sixth Avenue, and in May, 1874, 
the whole Booth interest was closed out and a lease given 
by Ames of Boston to Jarrett & Palmer ; but those lessees 
had just met with a crushing reverse in the failure of 
Boucicault's "Belle Lamar." Wallack about the same 
time had brought to this country one of the famous old 
comedians of the English stage, J. L. Toole, and met with 
failure as thorough and disheartening as manager ever 
experienced. When he wrote the letter given above, he 
was experimenting with Montague with dubious results. 


Not until November 14, when he gave up his theatre 
to Boucicault and "The Shaughraun," did the tide of 
fortune set his way. Shook & Palmer had a Hke ex- 
perience. They brought out "The Sphynx" for Miss 
Morris, but had soon to replace that disagreeable play with 
"The Hunchback," in which she essayed Julia; and that 
was followed by other ventures, equally discouraging, 
until "The Two Orphans," produced on December 21, 
brought the management fortune. 

All that Daly needed was a supply of plays. He had 
been relying upon Bret Harte, and now Boucicault, back 
from a long visit to Europe and looking for a job, took 
kindly to Harte's proposition to help put a Western legend 
into theatrical form. His "Belle Lamar" at Booth's was 
a disappointment, and to Mr. Daly he disclosed that he 
was engaged upon an Irish drama for Wallack. The 
period was to be that of the trouble that followed the 
abdication of James II, and the plot was to depict the 
serious struggle of a young English officer between his 
duty and his love for an accomplished and high-bred Irish 
girl. Boucicault felt that he had been long out of touch 
with the American public, and he sought Daly's advice 
as fellow playwright and manager, and my brother gave 
it with sincerity. He advised against the James II period, 
saying that the public would feel no sympathy for distress 
in big wigs and hooped petticoats. He further advised 
that the theme of the play should be if possible treated 
almost wholly from the humorous side, as the continued 
financial and business depression of the country turned for 
relief to the lighter theatrical amusements. The advice 
was followed, and so was Mr. Daly's suggestion of a play 
for the Fifth Avenue Theatre, to be called "The Bridal 
Tour." Boucicault agreed to begin upon it at once, and 
also to get to work with Bret Harte ; and he gave his 


opinion (a mistaken one) upon the merits of Shook & 
Palmer's projected "Two Orphans" : 

"The cast of the 2 orphans is strong: 
Maud Granger . . . Henriette and 
The Bhnd Girl . . . Claxton ! ! ! ! ! 
The Blind girl should be played by Palmer." 

(Palmer was the manager of the theatre.) 
"Now for Bret Harte ! — I saw him last night and agreed to 
re-shape Acts i and 2. — to construct and detail Acts 3 and 4, 
which so far have not been shadowed, much less written. He 
comes here on Monday, by which time I shall have re-modelled 
Acts I & 2. I must do the society dialogue and scenes myself, 
as I think B. H.'s best work is rough character and male. 

I propose to call the piece 'Kentuck.' The name is good 
familiar Brethartish — do you see Hardenbergh in it .'' 

Yours faithfully 
D. B. 

About the joint terms for this piece — what are they to be .'' 
I have lost recollection of the matter and B. H. is dizzy on the 

My dear Boucicault, "5th Ave. Theatre, Sept. 7. 

The original terms between Harte and myself & which I still 
adhere to are : One hundred dollars per night or six hundred 
dollars per week. Matinees free unless they reach $600, in 
which case $50 is to be paid. Yours truly 

Augustin Daly. 

I like the name of 'Kentuck' immensely." 

"My dear Daly 

Do send me a box for the first night of the School for Scandal. 
I am afraid there is not room for two behind the terms you 
have made with Harte — and I must retire. 

Yours ever 

Dion Boucicault." 


"My dear Daly- 
Why the blazes (pardon my Irish) don't B. H. speak dis- 
tinctly ? 

I quite understand that you cannot afford to pay double 
price because two names are attached to Harte's play. But / 
cannot afford to work for half price. 

The simple question is this — What advantage to you will 
result from the combination of our names — if any — ^ then 
estimate that. 

If none — then keep my name out of the transaction, and if 
Harte simply wants my architectural plans to work upon — 
let me be paid for that only — leave me out of the bargain. 
Let the play be Harte's alone. He can take as much or as little 
of my plans as he likes — And you will pay me for helping him 
over the stile. 

So I shall be released of all responsibility. 
But if I am to compose and write as much of the play as I 
see I must do under present arrangements : Then S50 a night 
would not pay me — and I should decline in dealing with Harte 
to accept a larger share than half — if he proposed such an ar- 
rangement. ,, . , 

I ours smcerely 

Dion Boucicault." 

"20 East 15th St. 
My dear Daly 

I wrote you last night as clear and distinct a proposition as 
Euclid could have shaped. 

I will now put it in a business shape. 

You engaged Bret Harte to write you a play. — he began it 

— and found he could not construct such a work. He came to 
me to do it for him. 

I undertake to put the piece into form — make a play of it 

— which he can clothe with dialogue. 

For this work you shall pay me one thousand dollars, and I 
transfer to you all my right, title and share in the concern — 
my name is not to be associated with the matter. 


My design and plot should be seen and approved by you 
before Harte begins upon the material I furnish — so that the 
work may proceed congenially. 

There 1 is that a puzzle ? To avoid all this enigmatical busi- 
ness — We three should have met and then there could have 
been no reserve or fog. 

My position was plain from the first moment that Harte 
and I spoke of terms — viz. : — $50 a night will not pay me for 
the amount of work I saw before me. — This I told him and I 
told you — Your terms for the piece are liberal enough — and 
if I were sole author I could have accepted them without de- 

But half a loaf is not bread enough for me. 

Yours sincerely 

Dion Boucicault." 

"20 East 15th St. 

My dear Daly Wedn. 9 Sept. 74. 

In reply to your offer contained in yours of this day I ac- 
cept : — 

Bret Harte and self will write conjointly the new American 
Drama. And for the privilege of playing the same at the sth 
Avenue Theatre during the present season — you pay us 12 
per cent of the gross receipts nightly, that is : — 6 per cent to 
me and 6 per cent to him. 

The play shall be delivered to you as fast as it is completed 
act by act. — 

Yours sincerely 

Dion Boucicault." 

"To Augustin Daly Esq. 

Private : 
My dear Daly. — 

It was not without motive that I suggested to you in one of 
my letters that you should devote a stray hour to watch the 
progress of 'Kentuck' - Harte is dilatory and erratic. He is 
very anxious to get the work done — but thinks we can scurry 



over the ground more rapidly than is consistent with safety. 
For your sake — as well as for ours — the piece should be care- 
fully done. I have constructed a new first act — I send you 
a cast raisonnee. 

With some difficulty I have made Harte promise to attend 
here every day at 4 o'clock. 

Could you drop in here about Monday next between 4 and 
6 and 'report progress' — make your remarks on the enclosed 

D. B" 

The cast raisonnee made out by the famous dramatist 
and enclosed in his last epistle shows the Boucicault 
method : 

Hardenbergh. "Kentuck.^^ Aged 33. A bluff fellow who 

has a large claim on Sandy Bar, 
where be believes there is a rich 
mine. There is a tradition that 
the Spanish family that owned this 
place worked secretly a rich mine 
here for ages. Kentuck believes 
in the existence of this old mine. 
He is half cracked on the subject. 
He has taken to drink. 



Oakhurst. His partner, aged 26. A gam- 
bler — very cool, quiet — deeply at- 
tached to Kentuck — they hut 
together — he resists Kentuck's pas- 
sion for drink. 

Fanshawe. Foreman of the mines at 
Sandy Bar; has discovered an Eng- 
lish speculator in San Francisco — 
who will buy Sandy Bar — Fanshawe 
has excited this man on the subject — 



and has brought him down to see 
the place — the other miners have 
agreed to sell out their claims — Ken- 
tuck refuses — holds out. 

Davidge. Sir Ulysses Medlicott. A conceited Eng- 

lishman, City knight — who repre- 
sents an English company of capital- 

Sara Jewett. Kate. His daughter, in love with "Ken- 


Lewis, Telemachus. His son — a cockney up- 

start — who despises anything Amer- 
ican — a bragging fellow about his 
"British pluck" — but really a cow- 
ard ; not a bad fellow at heart. 

Mrs. Gilbert. Lady Medlicott. A mournful, testy, vul- 

gar woman complaining of every- 
thing she finds in the "orrible wilder- 
ness" — always warning Sir Ulysses 
that they will come to ruin. 

C. Fisher. Don Diego Ruiz. An old Spanish hidalgo 

who once owned the estate — has 
lost his wits by the invasion — still 
inhabits the ruined hacienda — him- 
self a greater ruin. Thinks he is still 
master of the place — receives insult 
as compliment and is noble, courteous 
and dignified to the jeering miners. 

Fanny Davenport. Ooita. His daughter — a Spanish girl — 

proud — irascible — hating the Amer- 
ican — a wild & noble girl — in love 
with Oakhurst. 


Parkes. Flynn. 

Sol Russell. Jemmy Bymon. 


Miners — each with 
marked & distinct charac- 
ters : the "scientific and 
sanguine" miner, the re- 
fined and disappointed 
miner, the rough and reck- 
less miner. 

At the moment when Daly deemed himself secure in the 
possession of the most perfect theatrical organization in the 
country and had only to provide the vehicle for its display, 
an unlooked-for desertion almost paralyzed his eflforts. 
Miss Dyas left him and went to Wallack's. One of his 
oldest friends and stanchest supporters outside of his own 
family (also a friend of Wallack and of Miss Dyas) called 
upon him almost immediately after the successful produc- 
tion of "The Fast Family" to impart the intelligence that 
the lady was uncomfortable; that she was afraid her 
manager had been disappointed in her from the first; 
that she had wished to leave last season, but had yielded 
to the persuasion of her friends, and remained ; that she 
had been used in her own country to a great deal of con- 
sideration, had been quite a little power in her sphere, and 
did not like the republic which Mr. Daly maintained in his 
theatre; and that she desired to be released. Mr. Daly 
knew at once that an engagement at Wallack's was wait- 
ing for Miss Dyas. There was no one to play the heroine 
in "The Shaughraun," and he recalled that a week or two 
before, Boucicault had written as if casually : 

"... If Ada Dyas is not included in your programme for 
October I can place her for that month or for a longer time if it 
suits you." 

It was manifest of course that there had been considerable 
negotiation going on, and that, the time being ripe, a dip- 


lomatic agent had been selected who could impress upon 
the manager the alternative of yielding, or of facing an 
unyielding antagonism in his own establishment. The 
friendly representative took this occasion to say that in 
his opinion the manager's policy of not making a star of 
any member of his company was a mistake; that the 
public would have it, and that he would be compelled to 
yield. In a few days Miss Dyas was advertised as a mem- 
ber of Mr. Wallack's regular company. 

The production of "The School for Scandal" at the 
Fifth Avenue on September 12, 1874, proved a brilliant 
success. The performance was witnessed by a crowded 
house and received enthusiastically. Miss Davenport 
was Lady Teazle^ Fisher Sir Peter, Mrs. Gilbert Mrs. 
Candour, Davidge Sir Oliver, Hardenbergh Crabtree, 
Lewis Moses, Miss Jewett Maria, Clarke Charles, and 
Louis James Joseph. To Clarke and James a great share 
of the success was due. By them and Fisher the celebrated 
screen scene was so deftly worked up that it was prac- 
tically divided in two parts by the applause and recalls 
of the audience — first when Sir Peter is forced into the 
closet, and next when Lady Teazle is discovered. 

The play was reconstructed by Mr. Daly so as to present 
each act in a single scene. It had been remodelled for the 
Prince of Wales Theatre, so Mr. Daly had the authority 
of the London stage for meddling with the classic ; but he 
discarded the English version and invented one of his own. 

While Bronson Howard's "Moorcroft" was in rehearsal, 
the public was treated to a surprise, — a representation 
by tableaux of Longfellow's poem just published, "The 
Hanging of the Crane." The seven pictures described in 
the lines were shown as Harkins recited the poem, accom- 
panied with incidental music by Dodworth. The scenes 
were painted by Witham, and the personages were repre- 


sented by Ringgold, Fawcett, Davldge, Mrs. Gilbert, Miss 
Varian, and Miss Alice Grey. The evening's entertain- 
ment began with the comedietta of "The Two Widows," in 
which the four parts were taken by Miss Davenport, Miss 
Jewett, Clarke, and Hardenbergh ; and concluded with a 
new version of Sheridan's "Critic," with James Lewis as 
Puff. The lack of favor shown by the public to this meri- 
torious performance indicated the aversion of the Ameri- 
can public to an entertainment consisting of "one act" 
pieces. After a week the poem was withdrawn for Bron- 
son Howard's "Moorcroft." 

"Moorcroft" barely survived for two weeks. The 
local press treated it as a sort of false claimant to the 
honors of the American drama. The following extract 
from one of the journals illustrates the hostile spirit in 
which the task of criticism was approached : 

"We have the author's word for it that neither 'Saratoga' 
nor 'Moorcroft' is taken from the French. We are sorry for it. 
We had hoped both were. But he insists that in the deed of 
dullness he had no accomplice." 

There were insinuations that the play had its origin in" Les 
Faux," a forgotten French play. This was a repetition of a 
rumor started by the London Times, and it compelled the 
author to publish a good-tempered answer. Mr. Daly 
would not let him wage an unsupported conflict with the 
press, and so he addressed on the same date (October 24, 
1874) a letter to the Herald condemning the attitude of 
American journalists towards native dramatists. He 
showed the inconsistency of the lament over the absence 
of an "American drama" and the systematic condemna- 
tion of all attempts in that direction ; saying that there 
will be no indigenous growth if the young shoots are pulled 
up by the roots and the cultivators are driven from the 


field ; and affirming that the only people who endeavored 
to establish an American drama were authors and man- 
agers, without any assistance from journalists, and par- 
ticularly dramatic critics. He instanced "Belle Lamar," 
the characters and incidents of which were taken from the 
late Civil War, but which was denied all claim to the title 
of American, "because — mark the reason! — the inci- 
dents might have occurred in any other country"; he 
also referred to "The Gilded Age," considered as having a 
doubtful claim to the same title because there was only 
one distinctively American character in it, that of Colonel 
Sellers ; and he summed up in the phrase, "American press 
writers are proud of everything American except other 
American writers." 

The unlooked for failure of "Moorcroft" compelled the 
manager to fall back upon his brilliant production of "The 
School for Scandal," which was accordingly revived on 
November 2 ; but this resource was immediately cut 
oflF by the singular behavior of George Clarke {Charles 
Surface) who, irritated by a reproof from his manager, 
left the theatre before the play was over. The reproof 
was for disregard of the rule that no beards or mustaches 
were to be worn in the comedy. Clarke, who had always 
previously observed this requirement, thought that a 
revival for two nights did not demand the sacrifice of a 
mustache which had embellished "Moorcroft," and af- 
fronted the public by leaving his performance unfinished. 
More than this, he allowed himself to be interviewed by 
reporters and to predict the downfall of the arbitrary 
reign of Daly. A few months later he wrote a letter to 
Mr. Daly expressing his regret. 


Daly sets out to make up for unexpected defections. His production 
of "The School for Scandal" a pronounced hit, but everything 
after it fails. "The Belle's Stratagem," "Everybody's Friend," 
"The Heart of Midlothian." Not three weeks' paying business 
in three months. Remarkable play from the Spanish produced. 
Louis James as "Yorick." Judge Van Brunt's opinion of the 
public. Henry Bergh's appreciation. "London Assurance," 
"She Stoops to Conquer," "Man and Wife" and "Monsieur 
Alphonse" wasted. E. L. Davenport's splendid acting in "A 
New Way to Pay Old Debts" unavailing. Miss Carlotta Leclercq 
in "Pygmalion and Galatea" and "The Palace of Truth." She 
plays Portia to Davenport's "Shylock." Financial stress. The 
company on half salaries. Gossip of the street. Downfall of 
Daly predicted. Engagement of Stephen Fiske as business man- 
ager. "Women of the Day." Sudden change with the produc- 
tion of "The Big Bonanza." First appearance of John Drew under 
Daly's management. A hundred nights. The company now 
much sought after for benefits. Ringgold and Montague want Miss 
Davenport to play for them. Her benefit. Mrs. Gilbert's. Little 
Bijou Heron. Mrs. Alice Dunning Lingard. Restored friend- 
ship with Clara Morris. Fanny Davenport and her ^looo. The 
DeVeres. Actors' children and what happens. Sydney Cowell 
engaged. First trip to San Francisco. Poor quarters. China- 
town. Virginia City and the Bonanza mine. Salt Lake City. 
Brigham Young. 

"The School for Scandal" was immediately replaced by 

"The Belle's Stratagem," which had been rehearsed for 

emergencies, and Miss Davenport as Letitia Hardy and 

Louis James as Doricourt gave a spirited performance.^ 

"Masks and Faces" broughtout Mrs. J. H. (Louise) Allen 

for the first time in several years.- "Everybody's 

Friend" gave Lewis an opportunity to create a new Major 

» Nov. 4, 1874. "^ Nov. 10, 1874. 



De Boots,^ and finally the rehearsals (superintended by 
Boucicault himself when he could tear himself away from 
"The Shaughraun") of "The Heart of Midlothian" ended 
In the elaborate production of that play.^ All these ven- 
tures were played to diminishing houses, and the deficit 
in running expenses increased enormously. In three 
months there had been hardly more than three weeks of 
remunerative business. Boucicault's play lived barely 
two weeks, and ran behind from the start ; yet in the worry 
and anxiety of this period the manager was able to give his 
personal effort to the production of a genuine work of art 
— a notable Spanish play known as " Yorick." 

As "Un Drama Nuevo" ("A New Play"), produced in 
1867 in Madrid, it was not only a tremendous acting suc- 
cess, but found a reading public which demanded four 
editions of the published work in the same year. The 
fanciful story Is that Yorick, Hamlet's old acquaintance of 
infinite jest, was not a mere court buffoon, but a contem- 
porary player and popular favorite. The "new play" is 
an original tragedy accepted by Shakespeare for perform- 
ance at his own theatre. Its plot is the discovery by 
Count Octavio of the perfidy of his wife Beatrice with his 
false friend and adopted son Manfred^ disclosed by the 
jealousy of the villain Landulph. The comedian of the 
Shakespeare company, Yorick, is possessed with the 
ambition to play a tragic part, and persuades Shakespeare 
to take the role of Octavio from the leading man Walton 
and give it to him. Walton conceives a fiendish scheme 
to ruin the performance and wreck the peace of the too 
ambitious Yorick. In the scene in which Count Octavio 
receives a letter apprising him of the frailty of the Countess 
and the perfidy of Manfred, Walton substitutes for the 
property missive a communication revealing to Yorick 
1 Nov. 20, 1874. 2 Nov. 21, 1874. 


his betrayal by his own wife (acting the part of the 
Countess) and his pupil and friend Edmund (who is cast for 
Manfred). Thus a real drama of jealousy and treachery 
is enacted in the very scenes and by the characters of the 
acted play. Walton^s baseness, however, only partly 
succeeds. It tortures Yorick to madness, but Yorick^s 
passion, now real instead of simulated, renders the mimic 
scene almost insupportably true to nature. Yorick ex- 
pires after an attempt to kill his wife and Edmund. 

The value of the piece as an acting play was unques- 
tionable. Its presentation required an actor of the first 
ability. The manager had already sounded the possibil- 
ities of Louis James, and knew that he could go far if he 
devoted himself with sincerity to his art. To him he 
awarded the role of Yorick, passing over (a singular coinci- 
denceof play with fact) the claims of Harkins as leading man. 
The artistic results fully justified his choice, and James, 
inspired with the confidence of his manager and the 
greatness of his part, surpassed all expectations on the 
opening night,^ and disclosed the tragic power which, in a 
later period, he was generally acknowledged to possess. 
But the manager did not reckon with the incredulity of 
press and public, which refused to believe in the value of 
a tragedy that had no well-known tragedian for its inter- 
preter. The season had already witnessed some starva- 
tion receipts, but the lowest level was now reached. Dis- 
gusted with the desertion of the public, after a trial of one 
week the manager indignantly tore off the play and con- 
signed the manuscript to his library shelves. 

And yet the play and the manager and the actors de- 
served unstinted praise and support. Judge Van Brunt, 
who may be remembered as a plain-spoken man, went 
to the play, saw the empty house, and set down the public 

1 Dec. s, 1874. 


as asses. He said to me years afterwards : "The best play 
your brother ever produced met with the worst recep- 
tion !" Henry Bergh wrote a letter which conveys better 
than I can the impression made by the play upon culti- 
vated minds : 

"From the rising of your elegant curtain, until the last scene, 
and word, uttered, my attention was riveted to the stage. If I 
am capable of appreciating dramatic excellence and acting, I 
do not hesitate to declare that it would be impossible to present 
to the public a more truly enjoyable performance than that I 
witnessed last night. The play itself would add to the incom- 
parable fame of the great Shakespeare himself. The acting 
was exceptionally great — while the mise en scene, and costumes, 
left nothing to desire. The part of Yorick, as rendered by Mr. 
James, raises him to a level of the greatest artists of his time — 
while the elegant and refined lady who portrayed so touchingly 
the distracted wife, (Mrs. Jewett,) was entirely admirable. . . 

The purpose of this letter is to request you to delay the re- 
moval from your Stage of these beautiful pieces until the public 
have had an opportunity to judge for themselves. ... If the 
equivocal and sensational rubbish which theatre-going people 
are made to endure nowadays is to be substituted for such a 
performance as I witnessed at your house last night — then 
farewell to the legitimate drama. 

I am 

dear Sir 

Yours faithfully 

Henry Bergh. 

P.S. I have sent a copy of this to the Times for publication.^ " 

Nor were the leading men of the profession blind to its 
merits. Davenport wrote that it was "full of dramatic 
beauty and poetry," and Lawrence Barrett applied for 
the right to produce it in New Orleans, Boston, Philadel- 

' Dec. II, 1874. 


phia, and San Francisco. In later years, as "Yorlck's 
Love," it had a fixed place in his repertoire; but in his 
acting version, his reverence for Shakespeare induced him 
to substitute Thomas Heywood as the manager. At the 
Fifth Avenue Fisher was Shakespeare, made up after the 
intellectual and aristocratic Chandos portrait, Harden- 
bergh the envious and malignant Walton, Ringgold Man- 
fred, Sara Jewett the wife Alison, Miss Mortimer Margery, 
and Jennings The Prompter. To Lewis was given the 
only humorous part in the play, that of The Author — a 
character always the butt of the dramatist, though why, 
Heaven knows ! In the gloom and depression caused by 
the slaughter of this remarkable play, the manager had the 
grim satisfaction of observing that none of his critics 
noticed the anachronism of a female player on Shake- 
speare's stage ! 

The beautiful theatre seemed suddenly to have sunk 
into a groove of ill luck. "London Assurance," "She 
Stoops to Conquer," "Man and Wife," and "Monsieur 
Alphonse," put on in quick succession, could not pry it out. 
Then the manager took his principal people on tour and 
brought in stars to exert a temporary benign influence. 
E. L. Davenport appeared in a revival of Massinger's 
"A New Way to Pay Old Debts," ^ one of the greatest 
impersonations of Sir Giles Overreach the stage had seen — 
it drew the veteran actor and manager, William Wheatley, 
out of his retirement. Then Miss Carlotta Leclercq came 
in " Pygmalion and Galatea " ^ and "The Palace of Truth," 
and both stars united in a presentation of "The Merchant 
of Venice." ^ 

During this time the finances of the theatre had to be 
maintained by loans, and for a time the company cheer- 
fully agreed to be put on half salaries. The financial 

>Dec. 21, 1874. 2 Dec. 28, 1874. ^ Jan. 11, 1875. 


matters were kept reasonably quiet. The old and experi- 
enced Davidge put the matter very convincingly to his 
fellow players. They resented, too, the gossip of the 
street, by which the debacle of the management was pre- 
dicted, and the genius, skill, and efficiency of rival estabHsh- 
ments were exalted. 

Among Daly's new arrangements was the securing of a 
new business manager, Stephen Fiske, who had just given 
up the management of the St. James Theatre, London. 
Having the fullest confidence in Daly, he predicted that in 
six weeks they would be "turning people away." 

"Women of the Day," a well-written comedy by an old 
actor, Charles Morton of Philadelphia, brought the com- 
pany home,^ and then occurred one of those happy events 
that change the face of fortune. Von Moser, a noted 
German playwright, had written a farce that tickled the 
Berliners and Viennese immensely, for it ridiculed the 
passion for senseless speculation which set in with the Ger- 
mans after their intoxicating success in the Franco-Prussian 
campaign of 1870-1871. Neuendorf, manager of the German 
theatre in New York, called Daly's attention to the play. 
Daly had just the company to play it, and he was just 
the man to reconstruct it as an American story of the 
foolhardy speculation from the effects of which our coun- 
try was sufl^ering. Lewis was the crabbed professor, rep- 
resentative of "brains" as opposed to "money," and an 
admirable foil to his brother-in-law (Fisher), an amiable 
plutocrat. But the satirical side was the least attractive 
of the play. Two pairs of young lovers made the charm 
of the evening ; the impecunious young rolling stone Boh, 
his sedate and struggling chum Jack, and the goddesses of 
their affections, Eugenia (Miss Davenport) and Virginia 
(Miss Rigl). 

' Jan. 20, 1875. 


For the part of the impecunious and light-hearted Bob 
Mr. Daly brought from Philadelphia young John Drew, 
then playing his first engagement at his mother's theatre. 
It was again one of the Daly surprises — to give a novice 
a leading part in a metropolitan theatre. Von Moser's 
play was produced under the title of "The Big Bonanza," 
and on February 17, 1875, Drew made his first appear- 
ance in New York under the manager with whom he was 
to remain for many years. The finish of his later perform- 
ances was not to be found in this one, but there was all 
their intelligence, added to the exuberant spirits of youth. 
It was a joyous performance. The archness and beauty 
of Miss Davenport and Miss Rigl were well mated with 
the ardor of Drew and Ringgold. It is not easy to forget 
the first call of the impecunious Bob upon his inamorata 
with a surprisingly fine suit of clothes and a very per- 
ceptible limp. He explains in a single line of soliloquy, 
after sending up his card : "Jack's clothes fit me pretty 
well, but his shoes — !" 

Lewis and Mrs. Gilbert had two of those parts which 
later made the Daly plays famous. His sage remarks 
(and hers) upon the various stocks in which he was blindly 
investing, were the joy of the house for a hundred nights. 

The play ran to the end of the season. The stage of 
the Fifth Avenue was full of sunshine. Its company was 
again esteemed the most desirable in the profession. 
Jarrett & Palmer vainly begged Daly for Miss Emily Rigl 
for Princess Katharine in "Henry V" at Booth's, with 
George Rignold as the star. She would have been perfec- 
tion in it. It was the period of benefits. Montague for 
his fete selected "London Assurance," and asked for Miss 
Davenport to play Lady Gay Spanker, Lewis for Meddle, 
Fisher for Sir Harcourt, and Davldge for Max. Rignold's 
benefit took place later at Booth's, and Mr. Daly allowed 

Mrs. G. H. Gilbert 


Aliss Davenport to play Pauline to his Claude Melnotte. 
For the few months in which he appeared in "Henry V," 
Rignold caused a sort of madness among theatregoers. 
At the benefit in question he gave "Blackeyed Susan" 
as an after-piece, and women fainted with emotion. 

Mrs. Lingard, the wife of WilHam Horace Lingard, bet- 
ter known as AHce Dunning, was in Mr. Daly's company, 
having joined with a view to her debut on the legitimate 
stage, and was waiting for a play worthy of her ambition 
and her gifts. Rignold asked Mr. Daly to let her play 
Blackeyed Susan, but it was out of the question to allow 
her to make her first appearance on such an occasion, and 
so the part of Susan was bestowed upon Miss Maude 
Granger, who subsequently created the title role in Sar- 
dou's "Dora" ("Diplomacy") at Wallack's in 1878. 

Miss Davenport, of course, had a benefit in "The Hunch- 
back," as Julia, with Montague as Clifford, Rignold as 
Modus, and Frank Mayo as Master Walter. Then Mrs. 
Gilbert had her benefit with Rignold and Miss Davenport 
in "The Lady of Lyons," and John Brougham his as 
0^ Callaghan in the old-fashioned, Irish, gentlemanly farce, 
"His Last Legs." A dainty bit of child acting was fur- 
nished by the juvenile Bijou Heron as Romeo to little Fay 
Templeton's Juliet in the balcony scene. 

With regard to another benefit performance, the mana- 
ger received this letter : 

"N. Y. Jan. 7th, 1875. 
My dear Mr Daly 

I am just informed that you have consented to spare Bijou 
for her little entertainment at Union Square Theatre. 

I can but say that this (is) another evidence of the noble 
manner in which you have taken interest in her since you first 
took her by the hand. To say I am grateful were meagre 
thanks in sounding words, but I have that in my heart which 


thanks you in silence, but with a warmth of gratitude unspoken 
but faithful as the flood which flows through it. I pray Heaven it 
may be ever in my power to aid in some way on my own humble 
part to your prosperity. 
God bless you. 

Matilda Heron." 

In the retrospect of the passing season, the pleasing 
recollection remains of a renewal of friendly relations with 
Miss Clara Morris. As in the case of Miss Agnes Ethel, 
Mr. Daly had accorded her the privilege of playing his 
copy-righted versions of the plays in which she had made 
her reputation in his theatre. On January i, Miss Morris 
added to her letter enclosing royalties a postscript : "May 
I wish you a happy New Year .'' I do so with all my heart. 
C. M." 

The success of "The Big Bonanza" enabled the manager 
to reward the loyalty of his company. Here is one ac- 
knowledgment : 

"May I2th, 1875. 
My dear Mr. Daly 

A thousand thanks for your or rather 'my thousand dollars.' 
What a nest egg. How I hope it is but one of thousands of 
thousands that I bring to you. If a woman's determination, 
energy, talents & gratitude can thank you the future will show 

y^^- Ever sincerely 

Fanny Davenport." 

Miss Davenport had excellent training in the duty owed 
by actor to manager from her mother, a member of the 
Vining family, and from her distinguished step-father 
whose name she bore. Her theatrical experience began 
with her first appearance as a child for his benefit at 
Niblo's Garden in 1863, as Charles I in "Faint Heart Never 
Won Fair Lady." 


Few persons know at what sacrifice the lesser mem- 
bers of a troupe sometimes leave their homes to fill unex- 
pected demands. One of the most reliable couples in Mr. 
Daly's employ were Mr. and Mrs. DeVere, the parents of 
six children. The exigencies of a New Orleans engagement 
required their instant departure from New York, and they 
made a hurried arrangement with a motherly person to 
look after the flock. No sooner were the parents out of 
sight than the enfranchised youngsters mutinied, and got 
up a negro minstrel show in the apartment with the assist- 
ance of equally unruly neighbors, to the delectation of a 
crowd of youthful invaders invited from the street. The 
racket, din, and destruction drove out the motherly 
person, who disappeared and did not dare to reappear. 
Kind-hearted neighbors soon realized the situation, and 
cared for the children until the return of their parents 
after an extended absence. No wonder poor Mrs. De Vere, 
when a subsequent sudden departure was proposed, wrote : 

My dear Sir "Sunday. 

To leave my house and children alone again is something 
terrible. I went for two weeks and suffered untold anxiety; 
to leave again at once without preparation or time to make any, 
is more than I supposed it possible you could ask me. If you 
will give me your word of honor I shall return on Wednesday, 
I will go. Awaiting reply 

Yours very truly 

Nellie Mortimer DeVere." 

Additions were made to the company. One of the most 
noticeable was Miss Sydney Cowell, a capable and experi- 
enced young actress of what, in the old "lines of business," 
were called "Chambermaid" parts — impossible charac- 
ters who in old comedies invent plans for deceiving un- 
reasonable guardians, aiding sincere lovers, and effecting 


Indispensable elopements ; and who, after conferring last- 
ing happiness on the deserving, are rewarded with the 
hand of the vulgar lout called "the comic man." There 
were offers of which Mr. Daly did not avail himself. The 
agents of Mr. Montague wrote that at the expiration of the 
run of "Clancarty" at Wallack's he would be free to 
engage elsewhere. The well-known John T. Raymond 
(Colonel Sellers) applied for himself and wife. 

There was no lack of plays. They came from Henry 
Bergh ("PecuHar People"), Davidge ("Our Circle"), 
Henry Morford ("Mothers-in-Law"), Edouard Cadol 
("Grandmamma," — through Coudert Brothers, — which 
was accepted), and H. J. Byron ("Our Boys," — through 
T. H. French, — also accepted). 

An extraordinary venture for that age (1875) was taking 
the whole Fifth Avenue Theatre Company to the Pacific 
coast. They arrived in San Francisco July 21, and 
found It "cold-hearted." As every regular theatre was 
occupied they had to play in a concert hall and fit their 
scenery to its platform. Augustin was soon In despair 
with Piatt's Hall : 

"I would as soon fasten my scenery to the ceiling of a parlor 
... I hired it for two nights, and then finding Maguire's 
Minstrel Hall unoccupied, I hired that at the rental of $500 
per week. To this the people have come in partial numbers. 
, . . California may be the land of milk and honey, but San 
Francisco as I have found it so far is the city of gall and vine- 

He found illiberal criticisms and sneers in the press which 
he attributed to rivals on the ground. 

The sensation for a tourist In San Francisco was to be 
escorted through Chinatown by the police, and he describes 
the experience : 


"Within a block and a half of the very Wall Street of this 
City you walk into a maze of streets & alleys which swarm with 
another people and quiver with a new life & other motives. 
Strangely enough, the only Europeans you meet in this quarter 
appear to be simply sightseers like yourself. The few squares 
out of the very heart of the city which are given up to these 
Asiatics seem to be wholly surrendered to them ; & no other 
stores, no other dwellings, no other announcements, no other 
business, pleasure, customs or manners are to be met with over 
a stretch of city which is but two blocks wide by about seven 

I wandered over this strange city within a city last Sunday 
afternoon — and passing in an instant out of the quiet & repose 
of the Christian town I was plunged at once into a very hive of 
active busy bees, all crowd, all bustle, but noiseless & harm- 
less. Every shop was open & the sidewalks & the buildings 
swarmed with Chinese in their native garb. I watched the 
gamblers buying in a lottery & I noted the eager opium drunk- 
ard purchasing his thimble-full of ecstasy & hurrying homeward 
with his treasure. Tailors were hard at work, none disdaining 
the 'Melican' sewing machine, & cobblers on the sidewalk 
patching up the high-soled shoes. The basements seemed 
given up to the barber fraternity, & in every other one I saw 
the natives getting their heads shaved. The butcher & baker 
shops were all full of custom too, & the little scraps of dirty 
raw & dirtier cooked meats that were displayed & bought & 
sold drove me at last by their odors to my own civilized atmos- 
phere. At night, I took in the Chinese theatre, both before 
and behind the scenes, but of that — anon." 

In the third week the manager still complained of the 
indifference of the press, which he ascribed either to parti- 
sanship or inability to appreciate the school of acting 
which he had brought from the East, while acknowledging 
that he had a sure (though small) circle of intelligent 
patrons which attended nearly every performance. Each 
production made an emphatic success with these audiences, 


but elicited not even decent treatment from the papers. 
Yet Virginia City and Salt Lake City were warmly appre- 
ciative. The fact is that the discouraging result of 
the San Francisco trip must remain a mystery. 

He and his company were taken down into the mines 
of Virginia City to pick up specimens of the Bonanza with 
their own hands. In Salt Lake City the public was en- 
thusiastic : 

"Salt Lake City, August 22/75. 

. . . The people cried for more of us, and I'm sorry we could 
not stay. I called on Brigham (Young) yesterday and met 
General Sheridan and invited him to the theatre in the even- 
ing. Brigham has attended every performance, and when I 
saw him he said that the performance of 'Saratoga' was the first 
'live theatre' he had seen for ten years. He is a shaky old 
man, and I guess hasn't got above ten years more 'wickedness' 
into him. The theatre is a very fine one, very much like the 
old Bowery in its best days. The town and houses remind 
me much of a Southern city — very dusty and dowdy, and a 
mountain spring gives a rivulet to each main street which runs 
perpetually in the place where gutters usually are. I attended 
the tabernacle to-day and heard Apostle Hyde discourse on the 
holiness of Mormonism — saw the wives and the elders, and 
a 'sicker' looking set I never beheld." 


First engagement of the Voices with Daly. "The Big Bonanza." 
The Mexican Juvenile Opera Troupe and infant prima donna. 
Company engaged by Daly for season of 1 875-1 876. Barrymore 
and Miss Jeffreys Lewis. Opening play enjoined by Wallack and 
"Saratoga" substituted. John Brougham's prologue. Oakey 
Hall appears for Wallack. Injunction dissolved. "Our Boys" 
produced — a great hit. Edwin Booth's engagement postponed. 
Booth's preparations. His idea of "light" parts. His first appear- 
ance since his theatre was closed. Gratifying reception. " Rich- 
ard H" after fifty years. Receipts of performance. Miss Daven- 
port plays Pauline and Katherine. Daly's observations. Re-entry 
of Miss Clara Morris in "The New Leah." Retires after one 
week. Stop-gaps. Psychology of audiences. Production of 
"Pique." It is given 238 times. Libels and a libel suit. Chief- 
Justice Daly cross-examined. George the Count Joannes anxious 
to testify. Visitors to the play. Miss Davenport's opportunity 
at last. Offenbach. Burning of Castle Garden. Anniversary 
of the " Melville Troupe." End of the long run of " Pique." Miss 
Georgiana Drew joins the company. Benefits for the chief per- 
formers. Also for the manager, who has an illumination and an 
accident. Sleighride and supper. The great Moody and Sankey 
revival. Herr Cline. Daly's only portrait. Daughter of James 
W. Lingard. A spectre of the past, Edward Eddy. Death of 
Charlotte Cushman, A. T. Stewart, and Barney Williams. Con- 
flict of laws. Debut of Mayor Hall as an actor, and the result. 
Miss Anna Dickinson. Bret Harte at work upon a play. A 
drama by Justice Barrett and Mrs. Barrett. Wallack accepts it. 
Produced seven years later and played for two weeks. 

While the company was in San Francisco, the bright 
and attractive troupe known as "The Yokes" began in 
August (1875) at the Fifth Avenue Theatre with the 
well-known "Belles of the Kitchen" and followed with 
"A Bunch of Berries." All the Vokes appeared — 
Frederick, Fawdon, Jessie, Victoria, and Rosina — the 




latter then as afterwards aptly described as "full of fun, 
merriment and mischief." When they left, there was 
sufficient of the Daly Company on the spot to give a 
performance of "The Big Bonanza" with a wholly new 
cast — Owen Fawcett playing Lewis' part, Whiting 
Fisher's, Miss Jewett Miss Davenport's, and Mr. Maurice 
Barrymore Mr. Drew's. This was Barrymore's debut, 
and Mr. Daly notes that he was "liked fairly." Then 
there was a "Mexican Juvenile Opera Troupe" of child 
vocalists under ten years of age. They gave "La Grande 
Duchesse" in marvellously entertaining style, the prima 
donna Nina Carmen y Moron being a finished actor of 
eight years, and the Wanda, Nina Guadaloupe, aged six, 
carrying off most of the honors. 

As given in the bills of the play, Daly's Company this 
season, 1875-1876, comprised : 

Miss Clara Morris 

" Fanny Davenport 

" Jeffreys Lewis 

" Sara Jewett 

" Emily Rigl 

" Alice Grey 

" Nellie Mortimer 

" Sydney Cowell 

" May Nuney 

" Kate Holland 

" Florence Wood 

" Stella Congdon 

" Fanny Francis 

" Clara Jamieson 

" Josephine Bonne 

" Mary Bowne 

" A. Griffiths 

" Bijou Heron 

Mrs. G. H. Gilbert 
Mr. John Brougham 

Mr. James Lewis 

" William Davidge 

" Charles Fisher 

" D. H. Harkins 

" Frank Hardenbergh 

" Maurice Barrymore 

" John Drew 

" D. Whiting 

" G. F. DeVere 

" George Parkes 

" Charles Rockwell 

" B. T. Ringgold 

" Owen Fawcett 

" F. Chapman 

" Frank Bennett 

" F. De Veau 

" Geo. Gilbert 

" Beekman 

" Eytinge 

" John Moore, Stage Manager 


Such a force Is unheard of in these days, when theatrical 
management is in the hands, not of a single person with 
one theatre, but of a commercial concern with a "chain 
of theatres," each of its "stands" being supplied in turn 
with a play and a company strictly limited to the require- 
ments of that piece. With such thrifty management a 
play can be continued to comparatively small business 
for a long time without loss. It required full houses, 
however, to pay the expenses of companies like Wallack's, 
Daly's, and the Union Square, which had to be engaged 
for the season and to be adapted to every change of 
entertainment. Mr. Daly's range of plays, embracing 
the emotional, the melodramatic, Shakespeare, old com- 
edy, and now German modern comedy, required more 
than an ordinary stock force. Clara Morris was to ap- 
pear in a brief engagement, and she was to be announced 
as a member of the company. Maurice Barrymore 
was from London, as was Miss Jeffreys Lewis. Miss 
Lewis had appeared two years before at the Lyceum 
Theatre in a version of Hugo's great romance "Notre 
Dame." She was a beauty of the Spanish type, admi- 
rably fitted for Esmeralda^ and was as pleasing in dramatic 
parts as her petite blond sister Catherine became in 
musical pieces four years later at Daly's. 

The opening play was to be H. J. Byron's "Our Boys," 
but an injunction procured by Wallack restrained its 
production, and the old favorite "Saratoga" was revived 
on less than a week's notice,^ with a capital prologue 
written and spoken by John Brougham, in which the 
above-mentioned law proceedings are referred to : 

It strikes me now that something I should say 
About the recent much disputed play; 

1 Sept. 13, 1875. 


And so I would, but it is hard to tell 

The facts. What with Michaelis and Michel, 

The French in France and French here in New York, 

With all the legal enigmatic work 

Of affidavits and injunctions many 

(I wonder if they're understood by any) 

So warped and twisted, that, beyond a doubt, 

The rights or wrongs no fellow can make out. 

Old York and Lancaster once came to blows, 

And the fierce conflict from two roses rose. 

One Rose, through agents, and sub-agents, now 

Arouses a right royal kind of row 

By selling to two parties, nothing loath, 

And in the sale, of course, including both. 

The very smartest salesman you might get, or 

Colonel Sellers, couldn't sell them better. 

Why they don't pass a law such things to stop 

And simplify the literary swap. 

Leaving no loophole for chicane to use, 

But plainly say what's what and which is whose, — 

Nor fill with gall the managerial cup. 

Is — a conundrum, and I give it up. 

Meanwhile our chief, to all this adverse luck 

Opposes his indomitable pluck. 

Untiring industry and active brain. 

With courage resolute, to yet maintain 

The fight against all odds, and will prevail. 

His lexicon "knows no such word as 'fail.'" 

Before the week w^as out, the litigation was disposed 
of in favor of Mr. Daly. Mr. Wallack's side was pre- 
sented by A. Oakey Hall, but the injunction which he 
had procured for Wallack was dissolved on the hearing 
by Justice Charles Donohue. The question was whether 
Mr. French, the agent of Mr. Byron, had authority to 
sell the play to Wallack in case the terms of a prior sale 


to Daly had not been complied with to French's satisfac- 
tion. The case turned upon the wording of the written 
power held by the latter, and it was found to be limited 
actually to a sale to Daly, and that that sale had already 
been made admitted of no dispute. "Our Boys" being 
thus released, it was immediately produced at the Fifth 

Its success showed how undying is the interest attach- 
ing to the oldest themes of the drama. Two youths of 
widely different temperaments and ranks of society fall 
in love with charming girls who are not the wives picked 
out for them by their stern parents. As the youths 
firmly persist in choosing love with poverty in preference 
to riches without affection, the obstinate parents after 
a long struggle are forced to surrender. Such is the 
simple but eternal tale, and the whole world (excepting 
parents immediately interested) is found to be in sym- 
pathy with the impulses of the heart. Maurice Barry- 
more was cordially accepted in the role of the honest, 
obtuse, "pig-headed," and faithful Talbot Champneys, 
who disappoints his father Sir Geoffrey by offering him- 
self to the penniless but clever Mary Melrose. As for the 
representative of that bewitching young lady, it was 
observed that there was "no one living who could play 
parts such as Mary Melrose like Fanny Davenport." ^ 
Harkins, as the spirited and progressive son of the mll- 
lionnaire retired butterman Middlewick, was the impas- 
sioned lover of the aristocratic and sentimental Violet, 
portrayed by Miss Jeffreys Lewis. The irate parents, 
Fisher and Lewis, representing antagonisms in the social 
order, found a common bond in their determination to 
disinherit their rebellious offspring. 

Popular as well as critical favor was immediately ex- 

1 Sept. 18, 1875. » A^. r. Times. 


tended to the play, which was as brightly written as it 
was happily conceived. C. W. Carleton, the publisher, 
wrote of "a delightful couple of hours" spent in witness- 
ing it. Oakey Hall said to me: "It was well worth 
fighting for, wasn't it.^" It was so well worth it that 
when it was played in Cincinnati by a Daly company 
a further attempt was made to enjoin it, and Fiske was 
sent out to protect it, and succeeded. Two offshoots of 
the company went touring this season — one headed by 
Miss Jewett giving "The Big Bonanza," and the other 
later, led by James Lewis, playing "Our Boys." 

Edwin Booth was to appear on October third to fill an 
engagement made in June, but Mr. Booth unfortunately 
met with an accident which delayed his appearance until 
the twenty-fifth. The accident occurred at Booth's 
summer home, Cos Cob, Connecticut, early in September. 
He was thrown from his carriage, his arm broken, and 
internal injuries sustained from which at first the gravest 
results were feared. Happily they were not realized, 
but he was confined to his house for nearly two months. 
The engagement with Daly was by letter, and it will be 
seen what Booth regarded as strenuous parts and light 
ones : 

"Cos Cob, Conn., June 2d, 1875. 
Augustin Daly, Esqr. 

Dear Sir, 

Mr. McVicker submitted to me your two propositions for 
an engagement of six weeks (beginning Octr. 4th) at your 
theatre, viz : 

Six thousand dollars per week (seven performances) or : 
Half the gross receipts up to fifteen hundred dollars and two 
thirds of all over that amount. Either will satisfy me, and I 
leave to you the preference. 

I would like to have your reply to this, (stating your choice 


of the terms you offer) a list of the characters you wish me to 
perform and the names of the principal ladies & gentlemen you 
will furnish. 

All necessary information regarding costumes & scenery for 
the plays you select I will be ready to give your artists at any 
time you may appoint. 

I think it advisable to change the bill frequently — I am not 
loath to work 'my hardest,' but when I perform a 'heavy' part 
at the matinee I must have a light one for the evening or vice 
versa. The following are the characters which comprise my 
repertory. Those marked 'light' are good for matinees or 
Saturday nights. 


Shylock Light 


lago Light 


Wolsey Light 

Richard 2d 

Richard 3rd 


Bertuccio in The Fool's Revenge 

Pescara in The Apostate (Light) 

Brutus 1 

Cassius /Julius Caesar (All light) 

Antony J 

Brutus (Fall of Tarquin) 


Claude Melnotte Light 

Stranger & Petruchio (double bill). . . .Light 

Don Cesar Light 

Sir Giles Overreach 
Sir Edward Mortimer 

Several of these would give us trouble on your stage on account 
of 'armies' & 'fiddlers' — perhaps it would be better to omit 


Richd 3d & Macbeth. Richard in the original would be a 
novelty, however ; so I intend to do it — unless you prefer 
Colley Gibber. 

An early reply with full particulars will greatly oblige 

Yours truly 

Edwin Booth." 

On June 4 Mr. Daly replied, deciding to give Mr. 
Booth one-half the gross receipts of every performance 
up to ^1500 and two-thirds of all above ^1500; and sug- 
gesting the following programme : 

ist week Hamlet 5 nights & matinee. 

Merchant of Venice Saturday night. 
2d week Richelieu 5 nights & matinee. 

Stranger &c. Saturday night. 
3rd week Othello 5 nights & matinee. 

lago Saturday night. 
4th week King Lear 5 nights & matinee. 

Apostate Saturday night. 
5th week Richard H 5 nights & matinee. 

Glaude Melnotte Saturday night. 
6th week Macbeth 4 times. 

Brutus 2 times. 

" Gedar CliflF, Gos Cob, Conn., Sept. 6th, 1875. 

Augustin Daly Esqr. 

Dear Sir, 

I send herewith the prompt books of the plays selected for 
my engagement. The bearer, (Henry Fisher) Is thoroughly 
familiar with all the sets, scenes, &c. &c. & can render great 
assistance to your stage manager should such service be 

I would prefer to confer with you before the 'casts' are de- 
cided upon definitely — for there are several parts which 
appear to be of little consequence but which are indeed very 
important; such as the Fool in Lear, Wilford in Iron Chest, 


Fra7i(ois in Richelieu, are rendered ridiculous when performed 
by women, & I particularly desire them to be given to young 
men. The Fool should be a man who has both humor & pathos 
& be able to sing; otherwise the part is better omitted. I am 
told they have at the Walnut St. just the man for such a part. 
I do not know his name ; last season there was a Mr. Howard 
there who looked and I am sure can act the character with 

I am still too feeble to use a pen & scrawl as best I can with 
a pencil. My recovery has been very rapid, & daily I gain 
more strength. I am however barely able to totter about 
without assistance. Next Monday will decide whether or no 
I shall be able to be *on time.' I think there is no doubt of 
it, for when I begin to recuperate I do it in dead earnest. All 
pain is gone, and my principal difficulty lies in the stomach, 
where I received the blow which gave such a terrible shock to 
my system. 

Hoping your new play may be so successful that should I 
unfortunately be unable to begin at the appointed time it will 
carry you safely over the 'gap,' 

I am truly yours 
Edwin Booth." 

"Cedar Cliff, Cos Cob, Conn., Septr. 15th, 1875. 

My dear Mr. Daly, 

I hoped ere this to tell you there would be no doubt of my 
ability to begin my engagement at the appointed date, but tho' 
my recovery — up to a certain point — was rapid it now pro- 
gresses very slowly; I am yet unable to endure any exertion 
beyond a gentle walk about the garden, nor can I rise from my 
bed without assistance. My broken arm is so stiff that I 
cannot move it, and every attempt I make to inflate my lungs 
causes great pain. 

I fear I would break down after the first night if not during 
the first performance unless the opening is deferred for at least 
two weeks. 


My surgeon, who till today has been more sanguine than 
myself, now thinks as I do and will write you on the subject. 

It will be far better to lose the two weeks than by any failure 
of mine to ruin the whole engagement, and I sincerely hope — 
serious as the loss will be to me — that you will be secured by 
the successful run of your new play. 

Concerning the casts you have sent me I hardly know what 
to say. I remember Mr. Hardenbergh more as a personator 
of comic than serious characters, and Brougham in sentiment 
seems queer. For the rest I know only Fisher, Harkins, Ring- 
gold, Parkes & Davidge. 

I wish I had — at our first interview — mentioned several 
actors who, I am sure, would give great strength to the cast 
of Shakesperian plays; I intended to do so, but as time slipped 
by so swiftly the subject dropped out of my memory. 

The only changes I can now suggest are — ist, Florinda; 
2nd, Joseph. The former requires more power than Lady 
Macbeth, and I fear Miss Jewett is not strong enough to endure 
so great a strain; the 3rd & 4th acts demand as much strength 
as the 4th act of Richelieu, indeed the whole weight of the play 
is on her shoulders; Pescara is but a mere 'filler-in' compared 
with Florinda and Hemeya. I should say that Miss Lewis would 
be more suitable for this part, & Miss Jewett (if she sings) for 

For Joseph Mr. Fisher would be nearer the mark than Mr. 
Davidge — if Fisher will give a surly bluntness, a sort of 
'ragged edge' to the character; funny Josephs mar all the deli- 
cate touches, and some of the strongest points of Richelieu. 

Gomez (in the Apostate) is a very important & strongly 
marked character; & if Mr. Hamilton (whom I do not know) 
is capable of performing it he can surely do Hxiguet well ; I 
see that part is left blank. 

If I knew your people I might select one for Francois; Ring- 
gold once looked the character, but I have not seen him for 
some years ; he certainly can act it well — if he is not too fat. 
Orleans is of less importance — your Rosencrantz or Guilden- 
stern can carry that. 


This is all I can suggest at present — of course if I were 
better acquainted with your company I might do better. 

For the Fool I am at a stand ; a man like Pateman or Becket 
would just fit the part; Walcot told me he had engaged such 
a comedian for the Walnut in Howard's place, who might be 
borrowed for a few nights. 

Be assured that nothing less than positive inability to ren- 
der justice to you, the public and myself could induce me to 
postpone my New York engagement for a day, but alas ! tho' 
the spirit be willing the flesh is weak, and I must submit. 

Very truly yours 
Edwin Booth." 

With regard to the distribution of the parts about 
which Mr. Booth was solicitous, they were all filled to 
his satisfaction, though the Fool in "Lear" was given 
to a woman, Miss Cowell ; but Francois in "Richelieu" 
was given to the youthful John Drew, Florinda in "The 
Apostate" was intrusted to Miss Jeffreys Lewis, and 
Hardenbergh gave to Joseph in "Richelieu" all the rug- 
gedness and crustiness required for due effect. Fisher's 
pere noble style would have been wholly out of keeping 
with the part. 

On October 25, 1875, the foremost actor of the Amer- 
ican stage stood, pale and collected, clad in the mourn- 
ing garb of Hamlet, to receive an extraordinary greeting 
from a crowded house. He inclined his head at the re- 
newed expressions of sincere affection which were almost 
involuntarily repeated when the first musical accents fell 
from his lips. This greeting was not only extended to 
the favorite who had recovered from a dangerous acci- 
dent, but was the first the public had been able to give 
him since the financial misfortune which lost him his 
splendid theatre. It was a doubly sympathetic and 
loving greeting. 


The season had to be reduced from six weeks to four 
by reason of Booth's health. In those four weeks Mr. 
Daly produced ten plays for him: "Hamlet," "Othello," 
"Richard II," "The Merchant of Venice," "King Lear," 
"The Taming of the Shrew," "The Apostate," "The 
Stranger," "Ric"helieu," and "The Lady of Lyons." In 
three performances of "Othello" Booth played I ago to 
Harkins' Moor. Miss Davenport returned from her 
star engagement to appear at two matinees, playing 
Pauline to Booth's Claude at one, and Mrs. Haller and 
Katherine to his Stranger and Petruchio at the other. 
The young John Drew's share in these performances 
was Guildenstern^ Francois, Ludovico, Sir Pierce of Exton, 
and The King of France. The principal ladies who sup- 
ported Booth throughout were Miss Jeffreys Lewis, Miss 
Emily Rigl, Miss Sydney Cowell, Miss Alice Grey, and 
Mrs. G. H. Gilbert, and the gentlemen were Harkins, 
Fisher, Barrymore, Davidge, and Hardenbergh. 

One of the novel features of the engagement was the 
revival of "Richard II," for the first time in about half 
a century in New York ; the full cast of the piece is there- 
fore of interest : Richard II, Edwin Booth ; Duke of 
York and Duke of Lancaster, uficles to the King, Frank 
Hardenbergh and Charles Fisher; Henry Bolinghroke, 
D. H. Harkins; Duke of Aumerle, M. Barrymore; D^^ke 
of Norfolk, B. T. Ringgold ; Earl of Surrey, Mr. Buxton ; 
Earl of Salisbury, George Parkes ; Earl of Berkely, Mr. 
Johnson ; Lord Fitzzvater, Mr. Evans ; Bishop of Carlisle, 
Mr. Benson ; Ahhot of Westminster, Mr. Hamilton ; Lord 
Marshall, Mr. Chamberlain ; Earl of Northumberland, 
Mr. Forrest; Sir Pierce of Exton, John Drew; Lord 
Ross, Mr. Nichols; Lord Willoughby, Mr. Emden ; 
Busby, Mr. Allen; Bagot, Mr. Kane; Green, Mr. Illion; 
Groom, John Moore ; Keeper, Mr. De Veau ; The Queen, 


Miss Emily Rigl ; Duchess of GlosUr, Mrs. G. H. Gilbert ; 
Duchess of York, Miss Alice Grey ; ladies attending on 
the Queen, Misses Bowne and Wood. 

The initial performance of " Richard II " was on Novem- 
ber 12, 1875, Booth prepared the acting version. The 
four performances which were given satisfied the interest 
or curiosity of students of the drama and did not attract 
all the admirers of Booth. 

It will be interesting to know the pecuniary results of 
this, one of the most important of Booth's engagements 
in New York : Hamlet was played nine times to an 
average of ^1855; lago three times to an average of 
^1696; Richelieu five times to an average of ^1675; 
Shylock once to ^1503; Othello once to ^1446; King 
Lear three times to an average of ^1436; Pescara twice 
to an average of ^1125; and Richard II four times to 
an average of 5^731. The largest receipts of the engage- 
ment were at the two matinees in which Miss Davenport 
played with Mr. Booth — "The Lady of Lyons" drew 
$2iy6 and "The Stranger" and "Katherine and Petru- 
chio," ^2152. The gross receipts of all the performances, 
thirty in number, were ^47,909, or an average of ^1597. 
The prices were at the old rate of a dollar and a half for 
orchestra seats, 

Mr. Daly was most lavish in the scenic mounting and 
costuming of the ten plays, for which complete tableaux 
had to be painted, wardrobes provided, and mechanical 
devices installed. These ate up all Daly's profits. His 
observation upon Booth's choice of plays was : "The 
cry is still for 'Hamlet,' yet Booth persists in varying his 
performances" ; but afterwards, of "King Lear," he said : 
"One of Mr, Booth's most decided and immediate suc- 
cesses ; enthusiasm unbounded." "The Apostate," he 
records, was "not suited to new-fashioned audiences. 


and coldly received." He praises Harkins in Othello 
and Edgar, but says his lago was "bad." Booth's fre- 
quent variations of programme are ascribed to Mrs. 
Booth's advice. The manager notes with regard to 
"The Merchant of Venice," "The hurried performances 
do no credit to the theatre." 

Immediately after Mr. Booth's departure, Miss Clara 
Morris returned to Daly's stage. The play selected for 
her appearance was "Leah the Forsaken," but the law- 
yers representing Miss Kate Bateman objected that the 
use of that title infringed Miss Bateman's rights. To 
avoid the delay of more legal disputation, which seemed 
to hang upon the manager this season like the Cossacks 
upon the flanks of Napoleon's army in the Russian 
campaign, Mosenthal's powerful drama was called "The 
New Leah " ; and the curtain rose upon the familiar scenes 
on the evening of November 22, 1875, Miss Morris 
began her season in apparently excellent health and 
fine form, and with every ambition to renew her great 
successes, but it was evident, from the size of the audience 
which greeted her and the small numbers that attended 
the subsequent presentations of the play, that the fa- 
mous part of Miss Bateman was not, in Miss Morris' 
repertoire, to be an attraction. The opening night was 
respectable only — $1096 — and the second night but 
^453. The third rose to $712. The fourth night hap- 
pened to be Thanksgiving, and the holiday evening 
brought ^1975, but the fifth night fell again to ^491 and 
the Saturday matinee was ^630. On Saturday night Miss 
Morris was unable to appear (as also at the Thanksgiving 
matinee) ; and as she did not care to resume her part of Anne 
Sylvester in a revival of "Man and Wife," she terminated 
her engagement after the first week of "The New Leah," 
which she humorously described as "a brilliant failure." 

AuGUSTiN Daly 


The lack of public interest was a complete surprise 
in and out of the theatre. Daly was at work upon a 
new original play, but the abrupt closing of Miss Morris' 
season again left his stage unprovided for. The genial 
"Our Boys" had to be hurriedly put on again to keep the 
theatre open, but Miss Davenport was out of the cast 
(filling a star engagement), and for a fortnight Mr. Daly 
did what he recorded as the worst business in his manage- 

When receipts of theatrical entertainments fall, it 
is wonderful to observe the workings of a law which, as 
managers of theatres can affirm, has been as clearly estab- 
lished as any discovered by Newton or Kepler. Successes, 
of course, "play to the capacity of the house" ; but why, 
when bad business sets in and the week opens to, say, 
four hundred odd, that figure should be maintained every 
day until the close of the week, as if the playgoers had 
some understanding to go each night in certain numbers ; 
and why their mind-waves should communicate the 
intelligence that the next week is to begin, say, at three 
hundred and keep that up, is a psychological problem 
which yet awaits solution. 

The new original play was "Pique," and until its pro- 
duction this Fifth Avenue season had required a sort of 
prestidigitatorial art to keep it going; but with "Pique" 
all was changed. After the impression made by the 
first night ^ — which kept the audience willingly together 
until after midnight — the theatre and the play settled 
down to a run of 238 performances. 

One incident in the drama was suggested by a passage 
in Miss Florence Marryatt's novel "Her Lord and Mas- 
ter." More than one playwright took advantage of the 
disclosure of this fact to profit by the success of "Pique" 

1 Dec. 14, 1875. 


and put "something just as good" upon the market. 
There was a play which the composer artfully copyrighted 
under the title of "Piqued." Another person, a journal- 
ist, invented a tale calculated to injure the theatre and 
the manager. The story was that a poor authoress had 
left a play at Daly's and had heard nothing more of it 
until she recognized its incidents in "Pique"; and the 
fiction was eagerly seized upon and published in a weekly 
dramatic paper. A libel suit followed, and the jury 
rendered a verdict of over ^2500 in favor of Mr. Daly. 

The subsequent history of this verdict may be set down 
here. The defendant was unable to pay the judgment, 
which hung over him for some years, during which he 
continued to show his ill will. At last, when he was in 
sore straits in a litigation with others, his adversaries 
sought Mr. Daly and endeavored to purchase the judg- 
ment and use it to club their enemy. To their proposition 
Mr. Daly simply returned a refusal. He had vindicated 
his reputation and was not looking for revenge. This 
so changed the feeling of his old foe that he published a 
complete retraction, repeated more than once, and was 
always afterwards Mr. Daly's firm supporter. 

As the damage inflicted by a libel is to the reputation 
of the plaintiff, it is always open to the defendant to 
show that his adversary's character is so bad that it 
cannot be affected by anything that is said about him. 
This was attempted in the case in question, and two wit- 
nesses were found who, being called to the stand, kissed 
the Book and said that they were acquainted with Mr. 
Daly's reputation and that it was bad. One of these 
persons Mr. Daly had never heard of, and the other was 
the author of "Piqued." Our old friend Chief Justice 
Charles P. Daly happened to be holding Court at that 
time, and went over to the Superior Court where the libel 


suit was tried, to support the character of the plaintiff. 
The defendant's counsel rose to cross-examine the ven- 
erable Chief Justice in order to show that, while he might 
be a very good judge of the character of members of the 
Bar, he was hardly an authority upon theatrical matters ; 
but the first query, "I suppose, Judge Daly, you are not 
much acquainted with the stage and people connected 
with it?" met with the unexpected response, "On the 
contrary, I am very well acquainted with them"; and 
it speedily developed that the Chief Justice as an author- 
ity upon things theatrical was hardly surpassed by any 
dramatic historian of his time. 

The ubiquitous George the Count Joannes was a spec- 
tator of the trial. He had no disinclination to figure in 
any important litigation of the period, either as witness, 
counsel, or bystander, and he inscribed the following 
epistle upon a sheet of legal cap : 

" City of New York, April i4th/75. 

No. 23 Chambers St. Room A. 
To Augustin Daly Esq. Plaintiff. 

L My Dear Sir, I am happy to be of any service to you, 
in the above pending action. I repeat, as a matter of Law, in 
this suit, — that you have not to prove a negative; but Deft. 
has to prove the affirmative, — that you did, ^c. 

IL The Deft, yesterday introduced, as a witness, a Mr. 
Hallam — to testify to that affirmative, but he could not name 
any person who told him so. In rebuttal, — the Chief Justice 
was your witness, — as to yr good & honest character: — but, 
as I understood, he could not name persons: — but from gen- 
eral repute. — The ruling of the presiding Judge was agt. Mr. 
Hallam ; & for the same reason, — may reach the other side. 

HI. If you subpoena me (& it is not too late) I can testify 
upon that very question : & name persons who told me as to 
your honesty, viz my own Daughter, the Countess Avonia ; 
the late Judge Dowling, & the late Edwin Forrest Esqr. 


1. — Lady Avonia from her business relations with you. 

2. — Judge Dowling, — from general repute, 

3. — Edwin Forrest Esq. — was very positive; — & in 
certain advice to me professionally, viz : He advised me to 
make a dramatic tour, & 'farewell' — through the United 
States, (I have never been West &c) upon my leaving the 
States ; — & suggested the manner to carry it through ; and, 
that in 18 months, or two years, — that I would make a profit 
of $100,000 — & that he would guarantee it, — ''provided I 
had a skillful i^ holiest manager.'' I named a person whom I 
knew to be skillful, but no further, — Mr. Forrest in his pecul- 
iar & brusque manner said 'Bah! he is a chronic liar & a 
chronic thief!' Mr. Forrest after a pause, — as if reflecting, 
suddenly said, 'I will name the man for that dramatic enter- 
prise ; — & he is Mr. Augustin Daly, — gentlemanly ; had dra- 
matic knowledge ; & is an honest man, — & one, in every 
respect, you will sympathize with.' 

Now, this evidence is absolute ; & not lessened by my 
speaking it; & will crush down a dozen 'Hallams' — even of 
the historian's family. 

IV. I should be subpoenaed — to meet a question in that 
respect, — from Defendant's Counsel, though I have a citizen's 
right; and as Amicus Curiae; — & as Counsellor at Law, a 
duty to promote, — in open Court, — public Justice. 

Of course, you will submit this to your Counsel in this case; 
— with the legal compliments of his brother 'in law,' — 

Yours truly. &c 

George, The Count Joannes 
Of the New York Supreme Court &c." 

It is hardly necessary to say that Mr. Olin, plaintiff's 
counsel, did not consider it necessary to call the Count 
as a witness. 

Among visitors to performances of *' Pique" were 
General Prado, President-elect of Peru ; Benson J. 
Lossing; Charles O'Conor ; Don Pedro, Emperor of 


Brazil ; J. G. Fair, the Bonanza King, with whom Mr. Daly- 
renewed his California acquaintance and whom he enter- 
tained in the green room after the performance ; and 
lastly a certain well-known member of the detective 
force, who brought with him the supposed widow of the 
burglar who had kidnapped Charlie Ross, in the hope, 
as he said, that she might be so moved "sitting at the 
play" as to disclose the whereabouts of that infant. 

In "Pique" it may be said that Miss Fanny Davenport 
began her career as a star. It was the first time after 
six years with Mr. Daly's company that she had a wholly 
leading part. She had been subordinated to Miss Ethel, 
Miss Morris, and Miss Dyas in turn. Her opportunity 
had come at last, and the estimate of her work by the 
press was so unanimously flattering and sincere that 
the young girl enjoyed her triumph to the full. It must 
have amused her, too, to have to report to her manager 
that Mr. Wallack invited her to call and have a chat with 
an eye to the next season ; and it must have puzzled 
Wallack that such a brevet of distinction was not appre- 
ciated. A diverting incident due to her nervousness in 
the first performances of "Pique" adds to the traditions 
of the stage one more instance of laughable transposi- 
tions of text, like Beauseani's famous "It will be all over 
Sunset before Lyons"! Mabel, haughtily addressing 
her husband Captain Standish, and demanding a candle 
to light her to bed, uttered with great force the remark- 
able line : "If I must go alone, Captain Candle, give me 
a standish"! She was hardly able to finish the scene. 

Some changes took place during the season. Little 
Miss Heron and grown-up Miss Jewett left the company, 
and next year were found at the Union Square. Mr, 
Daly once thought of bringing Offenbach to America. 
This was now effected by Grau, who hired Gilmore's 


Garden (now the Madison Square) for monster concerts 
a la Jullien. Offenbach was to receive $500 per night. 
He opened there on May 12, 1876, and closed on the 22d. 
He was next taken to Booth's for a week to play in con- 
junction with Aimee. On July 7 he made his last ap- 
pearance in America. An old landmark, Castle Garden, 
was destroyed by fire on July 12. In the middle of the 
nineteenth century it was the favorite opera-house of 
New York, but since 1855 had been used as the emigrant 
depot. It should have been preserved permanently for 
summer entertainments, as it was the only institution 
of the kind, so located, in the world. 

The earliest attempt of Augustin at public manage- 
ment has been duly set forth in these pages, and is recalled 
by an entry in his office-book opposite the date of April 
6, 1876, as follows : 

"Twenty years ago this day, A. D. 'perpetrated' his first 
scheme of management. Hired the old Brooklyn Museum and 
introduced the 'celebrated Melville Troupe of Juvenile co- 
medians' to the public. 'Toodles,' 'Macbeth' (2d act), " Pilli- 
coddy.' A. D., J. F. D., Will Sefton, Fred. Massey the stars. 
Expenses $76.00. Receipts $11.25." 

Miss Jeffreys Lewis having been sent on tour with 
" Pique," Miss Georgiana Drew, John's young sister, took 
her place on April 17, 1876, in the sympathetic part of 
Mary Standish. She also played Clara Douglas to Har- 
kins' Alfred Evelyn at his benefit. These were the days 
of benefits. John Brougham selected "The Serious Fam- 
ily" for his, and revelled in his old part of Captam Murphy 
Maguire. Miss Davenport was the fascinating widow 
Mrs. Delmaine, Davidge Sleek, Barrymore Torrens^ 
Miss Drew Mrs. Torrens, and Mrs. Gilbert Lady Sowerby 
Creamly. It was a delicious performance ; but that was 


not all, for glorious John also gave as afterpiece his own 
"Pocahontas," wielding the tomahawk of Powhatan, 
with Miss Sydney Cowell as Pocahontas, George Vining 
Bowers as Smith, Hardenbergh Rolfe, and Mrs. Gilbert 
Wee-cha-ven-da, with one of her inimitable pas seuls. 
This entertainment was repeated for Davidge's benefit 
on May 27. 

At her benefit Miss Davenport played Rosalind, 
Lawrence Barrett volunteering as Orlando, F. L. Daven- 
port as Jaques, and the tenor William Castle as Amiens. 
For Lewis' benefit, "Charity" was revived with Miss 
Davenport as Ruth Tredgett, and Lewis as Fitzpartington. 
For Mr. Fiske's benefit Miss Davenport played Gilberte 
in "Frou-Frou" for the first time in New York, and 
afterwards Jenny Leatherlungs in the wild farce "Jenny 
Lind at Last," one of Mrs. Matilda Wood's favorite 
parts. The entertainment concluded with Brougham 
and Davidge in "The Siamese Twins." 

The last benefit of the season was the "author's festi- 
val" on June 23. Two of his great successes were given 
— "Divorce" at a matinee and "Pique" in the evening. 
Each had achieved its two hundredth performance. 
The theatre was illuminated, and a facsimile in silver 
of the regular reserved seat ticket was presented to each 
lady of the audience. It will not surprise anybody to 
learn that Mr. Daly took a hand in the illumination him- 
self, with the result told in a letter to me : 

"July i2th. 
Dear Brother, 

For the first day in nine I am able to write anything beyond 
signing a check. I got a sprinkling of melted resin from a 
torch on the night of the illumination and the joints of my right 
hand have been in a flaming state ever since. A vigorous 
application of linseed oil, lime water, carbolic salve, &c., how- 


ever kept the fever down and I am better now. . . . This 
morning I am happy and free but in a healthy 'blistered' 

In February, 1876, during the run of "Pique," the 
memorable revival meetings of Moody and Sankey be- 
gan at the Hippodrome and lasted many weeks with 
immense attendance, which affected the business of many 

Now and then I am reminded of my brother's care for old 
actors, and I find that at this period he gave a place as 
doorkeeper to a venerable relic of bygone days — Herr 
Cline, the tight-rope dancer. 

In the busiest part of the season I got my brother 
to sit for his portrait. It was painted by Thomas 
Jansen, a Norwegian artist, who was on a visit to 
America and had some well-known New Yorkers for 
sitters. It was difficult to keep Augustin in repose long 
enough to satisfy the painter. Every hour of his day 
was taken up by interviews with applicants for engage- 
ments, travelling managers, etc., and a mass of details 
most managers leave to subordinates. No aspirant for 
a place in his company was too humble to be personally 

I find an almost spectral reminder at this time of old 
Bowery days. Edward Eddy, once the favorite of pit 
and gallery, now a rover in the tropics, and long a stranger 
to New York, wrote : 

"623 Broadway, N. Y. Oct 29th, '75. 
A. Daly Esqr. : 

Can I make an arrangement with you to act 'Divorce' in a 
few of the Eastern cities, not Boston of course. I will place it 
upon the stage in a superior manner with first class com- 
pany, &c. 


I desire to give the 'Two Orphans' a shake, as I am assured 
that your play can be played to as much or more money. 
An early answer will oblige 

Yours truly 

Ed. Eddy. 

P.S. I also desire to play 'Divorce' in the West Indies 
where I visit this fall. E E " 

Poor Eddy went to the West Indies and died in King- 
ston, Jamaica, less than two months after writing that 
letter. Shortly after his death his widow, Henrietta 
Irving, wrote to my brother that she was left quite help- 
less, and asked for an engagement. 

The deaths of several celebrities occurred this season : 
Charlotte Cushman (February 18, 1876), A. T. Stewart 
(April 10), Barney Williams (April 25), and George 
Sand (June 18). Mr. Daly considered Miss Cushman 
"much overrated," and Barney Williams as "the best 
of the old school stage Irishmen. He began the battle 
of life unaided and fought it well. He rose above his 
birth-rank, and preserved his new station honorably"; 
but, speaking of his funeral, he inveighs against "a sin- 
ful profusion of flowers. This flower-show at funerals 
is becoming scandalous." 

Shook & Palmer were able to maintain in New York 
an injunction against the performance of "Rose Michel," 
and it may be interesting to know that when Mr. Daly 
tried to enjoin a piracy of "The Big Bonanza" in Massa- 
chusetts, he was met by a conflict of laws described in a 
letter from his counsel, Mr. Rives : 

"The Yankees I fear will be too much for you. In the case 
of 'Our American Cousin' the Massachusetts Courts refused 
to interfere to protect Laura Keene. The New York & Massa- 
chusetts Court hold directly opposite views on the question." 


While on the subject of law and lawyers, this chronicle 
must include a singular event in the theatrical world. 
The manager of the Park Theatre had been for several 
weeks mysteriously hinting at a coming surprise which 
would prove unexampled in stage history. This turned 
out to be so; it was announced that Mr. A. Oakey Hall 
had resolved to embrace a theatrical career, had written 
a play called "The Crucible," and would enact the hero, 
Wilmot Kierton, a man wrongfully accused of crime, 
convicted, sentenced, and imprisoned, but ultimately 
proved to be innocent. 

It did create a sensation, but a painful one, to witness 
the ex-mayor and ex-district attorney, once a leader of 
the Bar, who had so triumphantly passed through the 
ordeal of a public trial, condemn himself to prison garb 
on the mimic stage. The step was not excused by the 
display of any special gift for acting. He had a musical 
voice, but his gestures were those of an orator, not of an 
actor. No sentiment but curiosity could induce a visit 
to his performances. Those who felt the greatest inter- 
est in him would be likely to stay away. But it should 
be recorded that his ill-success did not affect the light- 
hearted hero of the event in the least. After his experi- 
ment had lasted three weeks he closed the theatre, and 
published a card announcing his return to the practice 
of the law after "a vacation." For years he continued 
to be — with now and then some exhibition of new 
eccentricity — a versatile writer for the press, filling 
journalistic posts with undiminished sagacity and in- 

At the outset of the season the bills of Daly's Theatre 
had announced the approaching debut of Miss Anna Dick- 
inson. She was to appear on February 7, 1876, but the 
success of "Pique" necessitated a postponement; and 


no new date having been agreed upon, Miss Dickinson 
never appeared under Mr. Daly's management. Her 
debut took place at the Eagle Theatre (afterwards the 
Standard), which stood on Sixth Avenue opposite Greeley 
Square, as Anne Boleyn in "A Crown of Thorns." Her 
reception by the press was not encouraging, and the sea- 
son terminated abruptly. Her next appearance in New 
York (which was after a long retirement caused by illness) 
was in 1882 at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, then managed 
by Haverly, when she attempted the part of Hamlet. 
This eccentric performance was withdrawn after a week 
and her old play "A Crown of Thorns" replaced it. This 
was her last appearance in New York. It is said she 
made a fortune as a lecturer, but it must have been les- 
sened materially by her dramatic attempts. It is not 
probable that she was sufficiently docile to be willing at 
any period to submit to the guidance and training neces- 
sary to a stage career. 

The manager's promises of new plays for this season 
included a comedy by Bret Harte : 

"45 Fifth Avenue, Friday a.m. 
My dear Mr Daly 

Thank you for the suggestion. I owe Mrs. Harte a promise 
to take her to see Hamlet, and have accepted your kind invi- 
tation for Saturday, for her. 

Then we can sit in the back of the box, between the acts, 
and discuss the other play — wh. Shakespeare ought to have 
written but wh. as he did not, I may possibly undertake; or, 
I can slip out and talk with you in your office. 
Let me know if this is satisfactory. 

Very truly yours 
Bret Harte." 

The Daly programmes also announced a drama "by a 
distinguished member of the judiciary." This was the 


late Justice Barrett, whose attempt at dramatic writing 
(in collaboration, it should be understood, with his tal- 
ented wife, Gertrude Fairfield, daughter of Sumner Lin- 
coln Fairfield, poet and litterateur), deserves more than a 
passing notice. In his early days, even while on the 
Bench, Barrett had been fond of private theatricals, and 
had appeared as an amateur actor on public occasions. 
The drama we speak of was written in 1875, and called 
"Restored to Society," a title changed afterwards to 
"The Watchword." Upon reading the manuscript, the 
manager found that after sympathy for the unhappy hero 
and heroine had been fully aroused, they were left by 
the denouement more miserable than ever. He sug- 
gested to the Judge that the fate of a play with its audi- 
ence depended upon a reasonably happy solution of its 
problems — to which the Judge replied that his object 
had been to dismiss the audience not in a happy, but in a 
thoughtful mood, and that upon consultation with his 
wife they had agreed to stand or fall with the play as it 
was. It was then submitted by the authors to Wallack, 
and accepted, but was not produced until after seven 
years, under another title, — "An American Wife." 
This was on December 18, 1883. It ran for two weeks. 


A. Sothern at Daly's. "Dundreary" and "Garrick" open the 
eighth season, 1 876-1 877. Sothern's care for details. Linda 
Dietz reengaged. Arrival of Charles Coghlan to be new leading 
man. His debut as Alfred Evelyn. Miss Davenport on tour. 
"Life" produced for the Centennial crowds. Amy Fawsitt. Brief 
appearance. Death. Return of Miss Davenport. "As You 
Like It." "The School for Scandal." The Brooklyn Theatre 
fire. Blow to theatrical business. "The American" produced. 
"Lemons," a merry success. Mrs. Gilbert's great part. 
Coghlan's benefit. His Hamlet breaks down. Harkins gives up 
the Ghost in this revival. Discharged. His previous dissatis- 
faction and reprisals. " Blue Glass" not a success. "The Princess 
Royal." Bronson Howard's misery with melodrama. Engage- 
ment of Adelaide Neilson. Several benefits. Last work of the 
season, "Vesta," from Parodi's "Rome Vaincue." Miss Daven- 
port's Posthumia. End of the manager's hardest year up to this 

Some appreciable instant of time is "supposed to elapse" 
between theatrical seasons as well as between sessions 
of Congress, but the eighth season of the Daly manage- 
ment began on the next working day after the close of the 
seventh. It served to reintroduce E. A. Sothern, after 
a long absence from America. He opened in Lord Dun- 
dreary and what was left of Tom Taylor's "Our Ameri- 
can Cousin," after room had been made in it for his 
lordship's increased proportions. Sothern came as a 
star, to be supported, as Booth had been, by a company 
engaged by Daly. Miss Linda Dietz, once an ingenue 
In the old Fifth Avenue days, was reengaged to assist 
Sothern, at his request. He overlooked nothing. Thus 



he could advise "protecting the house" — i.e. papering, 
or crowding with invited guests so as to present an 
appearance of prosperity ; and he must be announced 
as plain " Sothern " : 

"I wd. suggest your protecting the house for the ist 2 or 
3 nights — so as to open well — but all this I leave to you. 
Have you enough wood-cuts ? Drop me a line to Continental, 

Yrs. always 
Mind I'm announced as 

not E. A. Sothern." 

And he occasionally wrote his own advertisements, and 
particulars for small bills. Dundreary ran nearly a month, 
and David Garrick filled out the rest of his six weeks' 

"Dear Daly, 

I see you announce 'Garrick' for 28th, so if there's reason- 
ably good booking we shall have to produce it. Under these 
circumstances don't you think you'd better put a special notice 
in ads. saying something to this effect — 

Last 6 nights of Dundreary 

in consequence of the universally expressed desire for Mr. 
Sothern's appearance in his original characters in Garrick 
& Home. Garrick Mon. 28 August. Home Mon. 4 Sept. 
We can easily put Dundreary back on the bill the last week 
if we find Home doesn't draw extra well." 

There was no need to produce "Home," and it was 
not given. 

He and my brother fraternized enthusiastically, and 
his time with Daly was passed so pleasantly that the 


star proposed another engagement for the following 
season : 

"... I expect a telegram every day from Australia. If 
I don't go there wd. it suit you to let me open on Monday, 
April 2d, 1877, in a new play, the very best I've ever had writ- 
ten — we wd. run the piece thro' the summer — if business 
warranted it . . . only 8 parts in the piece & all admirable. 
3 acts, & very easily put on the stage. 

Possibly you may 'simply ignore' the idea! 

Yrs. always 
E. A. Sothern 

I never spent a jollier day than yesterday — in spite of that 
screwed-up sailor!" 

Sothern, like Jefferson, was forced by public insistence 
to spend most of his time on a single role, although there 
were almost infinite possibilities in his art — as the tran- 
sition from the vapid Dundreary to the gifted and polished 
Garrick abundantly testified. 

To strengthen the company where it had sometimes 
been found weak, that is, with regard to a masculine actor 
who possessed the authority of Wallack, the charm of 
Montague or Rignold, or the force of Thorne, Daly 
brought over one of the latest favorites of London, 
Charles Coghlan. He was the superior of all those named, 
in youthful appearance, manners, and taste, and was 
presented on September 12, 1876, as Alfred Evelyn in 
Bulwer's "Money." 

Miss Mary Wells was engaged this season for certain 
lines of robust "old women" and eccentric roles, an in- 
stance of the manager's attention to the nicest shading 
of his dramatic pictures. His company consisted not 
only of those named, but of the entire forces supporting 
Miss Davenport, now travelling with "Pique." 


The success of Coghlan was immediate, and "Money" 
was kept on until September 27, when "Life" was brought 
out with eclat. This was an adaptation of the French 
farce "Le Proces Veauradieux." Coghlan and James 
Lewis had the chief parts ; Mdlle. Sohlke led a resplen- 
dent ballet in the spectacle ; and the chief female char- 
acter was intrusted to Miss Amy Fawsitt, who had played 
Lady Teazle four hundred nights and Lady Gay Spanker 
two hundred nights in London. Her unexpected and 
complete physical collapse almost immediately compelled 
her to withdraw from the play and to resign from the 
company. Mr. Daly advised her immediate return to 
England, and placed the money for her passage in her 
hands. She continued to remain in the city, however, 
until her death, which occurred in the following December. 
When she gave up her part in "Life," it was assumed 
by Miss Drew. 

Sothern just now wrote one of his characteristic letters 
to Daly : 

"I learn yr. new piece is a 'great go' — so it's quite on the 
cards you can do as well without me — & possibly better. I 
must answer London's engagement offers at once. I prefer 
staying in America at present & I prefer playing with you. If 
you don't want me that ends the argument — & if you do want 
me what terms do you propose .'' I will produce 3 new pieces 
if required. House Monday $1974, Tuesday $2008. The 
biggest Bus. ever known in Phil. y 


I only get clear halves here — but I'm so d — d good na- 
tured that I don't growl. What an easy-tempered ass I am." 

"Life" was played to crowds for nearly two months, 
when it was withdrawn to put on "As You Like It" 
with Miss Davenport as Rosalind (her first appearance 


this season) supported by Coghlan as Orlando. Her 
Rosalind showed a sportive and assertive rather than an 
arch and mischievous spirit. Coghlan was a romantic 

One of Coghlan's great hits in London was Charles 
Surface, a miracle of elegance, dress, and distinction ; 
and a most elaborate revival of "The School for Scan- 
dal," long in preparation, with Harkins as Joseph, Lewis 
as Sir Benjamin, Davidge as Moses, Hardenbergh as 
Crabtree, Fisher as Sir Peter, Brougham as Oliver, William 
Castle as Bumper, Miss Drew as Maria, Mrs. Gilbert as 
Mrs. Candour, Miss Wells as Lady Sneerzvell, Coghlan as 
Charles, and Miss Davenport as Lady Teazle,'was presented 
to a brilliant audience on December 4, 1876. 

As the audience emerged from the first representation, 
it heard the newsboys crying extras with news of the 
burning of the Brooklyn Theatre ; but not until the next 
day was the extent of that awful catastrophe known. 
This theatre had been hired by Shook & Palmer of the 
Union Square as an outlet for the numerous attractions 
they were continually acquiring, and had been opened 
with a revival of "Frou-Frou" and the momentary return 
to the stage of Miss Agnes Ethel. On the night of the 
fire, the theatre was occupied by "The Two Orphans" 
company, of which Miss Kate Claxton as the blind 
Louise was the leading attraction. She escaped from 
the burning building through the parquette with the 
aid of the audience. It was singular that the experience 
of her grandfather in a similar disaster, the burning of 
the Richmond Theatre in Virginia, had turned him 
from the stage to the pulpit. The Brooklyn fire, like 
most fires in theatres while a performance is in progress, 
began on the stage, which was lighted by gas. All the 
persons behind the scenes escaped, and so did the occu- 


pants of the lower part of the house ; but the exit from 
the upper circle was blocked at the first turning of the 
stairs by the crowding and falling of human beings, and 
the mass of people in that tier were absolutely imprisoned. 
When the police saw no one coming down the stairs they 
assumed that the house was empty, and closed the doors 
without ascending to make sure that no one was left 
behind. The result was the loss of over three hundred 

This calamity practically ruined the business of all 
the theatres in the country for that season. The houses 
fell off at least one-half. The patrons who braved the 
perils now supposed to lurk in every playhouse were 
reminded of their danger by reading in the programmes 
how they might escape in case of alarm ; and for many 
months there was an active demand at the box office, 
not for seats near the stage but near the street. Not- 
withstanding the gorgeous performance of Sheridan's 
immortal work, what had been up to that time a bril- 
liant season at the Fifth Avenue was suddenly extin- 

Daly had a strong drama in Dumas' "L'Etrangere," 
which contained a great part for Coghlan. Adapted by 
Mr. Daly and called "The American," it was produced 
on December 20, 1876. In spite of capital playing — 
Coghlan as the Duke displaying all the high polish as 
well as the "reserve power" for which he had been 
credited repeatedly abroad, the Dumas play won no 
sympathy from American audiences. The next play, 
"Lemons," was one of those bright things from the Ger- 
man, which Daly and Daly's company could deal with 
to perfection. It was produced on January 15, 1877, 
with all the company and particularly Mrs. Gilbert in 
the cast. I say particularly, because she had the burden 


of the play as a match-making, managing, and dominat- 
ing "feminist," and carried it off brilliantly. "Lemons" 
filled the house for eight weeks. 

Coghlan had (according to stipulation) a benefit, on 
which occasion he essayed Hamlet. It was, curiously 
enough, apparent that he had no strength to carry the 
part through. He absolutely "went to pieces" before 
the close of the third act. His culmination was practi- 
cally reached in the second act, after the impassioned 
soliloquy: "Oh what a rogue and peasant slave am I!" 
Coghlan rushed up to the throne and fell to stabbing 
the empty chair, as if to glut his vengeance in this shad- 
owy fashion. The excess of this business seemed to ex- 
haust him, and the remainder of the play was accom- 
plished with indubitable signs of weariness. At his 
request he had been excused from playing at the matinee, 
so as to husband his strength : 

My dear Daly "^65 Lex Ave, Sunday, March 4. 

On reflection I think it would be the height of absurdity for 
me to attempt to play Hamlet twice in one day after a run of 
lighter business. I am convinced that you would wish me to 
do myself justice, and I don't think I can unless I reserve myself 
for the night and do not play in the day at all. I must beg of 
you therefore not to put me down for any matinee performance 
on Saturday, and if you think it right to make any alteration 
in your terms I, of course shall be happy to agree. 

Sincerely yours 
Charles F. Coghlan." 

Miss Davenport played Ophelia, Davidge Polonius, 
Lewis The First Gravedigger, and Fisher The Ghost, after it 
had been declined (I think) by Harkins. It was for this or 
some such breach of contract that Harkins was now dis- 
charged from the company. His salary was ^200 per 


week, and he had not played since his appearance as 
Joseph Surface. After the arrival of Coghlan it was diffi- 
cult to suit him with parts in any play in which they were 
to act together. Upon his discharge he promptly sued 
for damages. In this place it may be interesting to note 
that Harkins, three years before, when Louis James got 
the part of Yorick, became so angered that he proposed 
to take a lease of the old Fifth Avenue Theatre (which 
Mr. Eno considered rebuilding) and running it in oppo- 
sition to Daly. This was entirely proper, but when he 
proposed to do so while remaining in Daly's company, 
the manager raised his eyebrows. Harkins even claimed 
the right to recruit his new enterprise from other employees 
of Daly. It will hardly be credited, but the first recruit 
that offered was Louis James ! This shows that the bond 
of fellowship is stronger than the obligations of loyalty. 
The manager is the common enemy. 

To follow "Lemons," another farce from the German, 
"Blue Glass," was presented with Coghlan and Drew 
in the leading roles. It happened just then that a delu- 
sion was prevalent concerning the therapeutic value of 
sun rays transmitted through the medium of blue glass, 
and this was seized upon to give a title to the play and 
to the supposed industrial stock in which the dramatis 
personae were dabbling. The play was unsuccessful, 
although entertaining. Coghlan and Drew had congenial 
parts, and Miss Davenport, Mrs. Gilbert, Miss Rigl, 
Miss Cowell, Brougham, Lewis, Fisher, and Hardenbergh 
lent their vivacity and buoyancy to the general effect, 
but without avail. Mr. Daly dragged it off, indignant 
at the waste of nights of toil, days of energetic prepara- 
tion, wealth of scenery and professional ability. The 
resources of a well-equipped theatre enabled him to re- 
place "Blue Glass" with a revival of importance — "The 


Lady of Lyons." For this production Mr. Daly, for the 
first time, I believe, borrowed from a brother manager 
to fill out a cast. Wallack lent him Madame Ponisi for 
the Widow Melnotte. 

A new play, brought out March 31, 1877, was "The 
Princess Royal" from the French "L'Officier de For- 
tune." The story was the love of the romantic Princess 
Amalie of Prussia for the adventurous Baron Trenck, 
whose memoirs were once a household book. One of 
the mechanical surprises of this play had been appro- 
priated by Boucicault for his "Shaughraun," but a vast 
amount of original work was put in by Daly to assist its 
dramatic rather than its theatrical effects. The amount 
of scenery was stupendous and taxed the whole dimensions 
of the stage. All the company was required for the long 
list of characters, and J. B. Studley, a melodramatic per- 
former of the old school, was specially engaged for 
Korner, Captain of the Guard. Coghlan was a dashing 
Frederick Trenck, and Miss Davenport a sumptuous 
Princess. In the original literary work upon this play 
my brother persuaded Bronson Howard, much against 
his will, to take a hand ; but the gentle Howard's attempt 
at lurid melodrama proved "too 'orrible," and he was, 
greatly to his comfort, released. The "Princess Royal" 
was played five weeks at the Fifth Avenue and was then 
removed to the Grand Opera House, where it continued 
to flourish during the engagement, at the Fifth Avenue, 
of one of the most cherished daughters of the stage. 

Adelaide Neilson's range of characters was limited 
for a star, as Jenny Lind's repertoire was limited for a 
prima donna ; but there were actually no bounds to her 
control of her audiences, who hung upon her words and 
followed her motions with rapture. In recalling at this 
time the apparent sources of her charm, it seems to me 


that everything she did appeared to be unconscious, and 
that her voice did not penetrate — it enveloped. The 
opening night was May 7, 1877; the play "Twelfth 
Night"; Miss Rigl Olivia, Sydney Cowell Maria, Da- 
vidge Sir Toby, Fisher Malvolio, Drew Sir Andrew Ague- 
cheek, and Hardenbergh The Clown. On May 14 
"Cymbeline" was revived for the first time in many 
years, with the exquisite star in the part of Imogen. 
Studley was lachimo. Collier Cymbeline, Haworth Gui- 
derius, and Drew Cloten. The customary matinee had 
to be omitted in the "Cymbeline" week, on account of 
a brief note received by the manager : 

Please come down & see me for a minute as soon as possible. 
I cannot play Imogen tonight & I want to see you to settle 
what we had better do. In haste Yours 

L. A. Neilson." 

She managed to get through with that Friday night's 
work, but had to rest all day Saturday. The next and 
closing week was largely occupied with "Romeo and 
Juliet," Fisher playing Mercutio, Flardenbergh Friar 
Lawrence, and Crisp Tybalt. In these three revivals, 
Eben Plympton (specially engaged) enacted in turn 
Sebastian, Posthumus, and Romeo. The closing nights 
were taken up with benefits. On May 26 Miss Neil- 
son's occurred, and she played Pauline to Coghlan's 
Claude, and Juliet to Rignold's Romeo in the balcony 
scene. The night after, for Miss Davenport's benefit, 
she played Julia to Coghlan's Clifford in "The Hunch- 
back," while Miss Davenport and Plympton were Helen 
and Modus, C. W. Couldock volunteering for Master 

Mrs. Gilbert's fete took place on May 10 at a matinee 


when, with other attractions, a company of society ama- 
teurs (Messrs. George Dusenberry, Henry Gushing, 
and J. H. Magee, Mrs. W. J. Torrey and Miss Ella R. 
Brady) appeared in the comedietta "The Area Belle"; 
and Robert Heller gave one of the best of his comic mono- 
logues, "The Boarding School Miss and her Piano Prac- 
tice." At Mr. FIske's benefit Miss Neilson, Miss Daven- 
port, Rignold, and Sol Smith Russell were the volunteers, 
besides the whole company In the current play. 

To Miss Neilson playgoers are indebted for the op- 
portunity of seeing a Shakespearian play which, without 
an artist of her popularity, managers hesitate to present 
— "Measure for Measure" (1880). Had her strength 
been greater and her life been spared, she might have 
been in more than one way a benefactor to the modern 
theatre. In 1880 she died, in her thirty-fourth year. 
Romantic stories are told of her origin — of her rise 
through Incredible hardships and her preservation through 
unthinkable experiences until, at twenty-four years of 
age (1870), she made her first decided impression on the 
stage. The most appreciative account of her life, as 
well as of her acting, is given by Mr. William Winter in 
his "Shadows of the Stage." As it cannot be uninter- 
esting either as part of the history of the stage or of this 
favorite actress to know the business side of her engage- 
ment, it should be stated that she received forty-five 
per cent of the gross receipts of her performances. 

The last production of this season was Mr. Daly's 
"Vesta," a version In English of Parodl's "Rome 
Vaincue," on May 28, 1877. 

In Posthumia, the blind old crone, grandmother of 
the vestal Opimia, Miss Davenport made such an artistic 
transformation as had been admired in more than one 
of her notable roles. The vestal was Miss Jeffreys Lewis. 


The strong lines of the play were delivered by Frederick 
Warde, who was specially engaged for Lentulus, by Fisher 
as the senator Fabius, by Collier as the Pontiff, and Stud- 
ley in the effective part of Vestaepor, a Gallic slave. It 
was strong testimony to the respect in which my brother 
held his art, his theatre, and his public, that he brought 
out such a novelty at this time instead of being content 
(as one paper expressed it) "to patchwork the fag-end 
of his season with some old and worn attraction." Per- 
haps it is unreasonable to find fault with the want of 
public appreciation of that trait, but it seems hard to 
record that the public took no interest in this powerful 
drama. Perhaps there was again, as in the case of 
"Yorick," the need of some famous name to assure the 
playgoers that a new tragedy would be adequately pre- 
sented. Miss Davenport had not the reputation of 
Ristori, and "Vesta," after one short week, was added 
to the list of plays which possess every merit but the 
power to fill the house. 

On June 2 the season at the Fifth Avenue Theatre 
closed and rounded out a year of such work as, I think, 
no manager ever did before. Not only was every pro- 
duction — by stars as well as by the regular company 
— prepared, staged, and rehearsed by him, not only was 
every one of the innumerable details of the theatre per- 
sonally superintended, but he presented six new plays, 
all worked over by his own pen. It was so far his hard- 
est year. 


End of Daly's proprietorship of the Fifth Avenue Theatre. Ninth 
season, 1877-1878, abruptly ended with "The Dark City." Before 
that, preparations with new plays. W. D. Howells' comedietta. 
Efforts by Paul Fuller, Mrs. Rohlfs, Cornelius Matthews, Joseph 
I. C. Clarke, and Bronson Howard. Production of "Ah Sin" 
by Bret Harte and Mark Twain. Distinguished house to greet 
it. Twain's witty response to his call. Harte's dry letter. Twain 
invents new business. Piece a dead loss. Edward F. Rice's 
burlesque "Evangeline" a success. Minor role essayed by Henry 
E. Dixey. Coghlan's desertion. A. M. Palmer approaches other 
members of the company. Death of E. L. Davenport; of George 
L. Fox, — "Humpty Dumpty"; of Matilda Heron. Bijou's 
indenture. Production of "The Dark City." Its failure. Rent 
of theatre demanded with threats of eviction. Instant surrender 
of theatre by Daly. The last straw. The fortunes he had made 
and where they had gone. The newspapers. War on ticket 
speculators. Wallack's custom. Kindness of dealers. Appre- 
ciation of authors. Bronson Howard's letter. The company 
assembled. Mrs. Gilbert goes to Palmer's. Her letter. Jef- 
ferson's engagement with Mr. Daly. Disappointment. A tour 
with Jefferson. More disappointment. Hard times. Sale of 
J. W. Wallack's Long Branch lots cheap. Death of Charles F. 
Briggs; of Seymour; of old Mr. Worrell ; of Tom Placide. Last 
performances of Fanny Davenport in the Daly Company. Ac- 
count of her subsequent career. Account of the Fifth Avenue 
Theatre after 1878. Its various managements as a star theatre. 
Daly's letters from the South. Observations on Southern cities 
emerging from the havoc of war and reconstruction. Efforts to 
get a theatre. Extension by his creditors. Sails for Europe. 

The requirements of the past season had prevented 
Augustin from staging Mr. W. D. Howells' first play, 
w^hich had been announced as early as August, 1876 : 

"A new comedietta, 'The Parlor Car,' which has been ac- 
cepted by Mr. Daly, is to be published in The Atlantic Monthly, 
the author preferring to have the piece criticised in advance." 



It will be recalled that it was at Mark Twain's sugges- 
tion that Mr. Daly proposed to the editor of The Atlantic 
Monthly an excursion into the dramatic field, with the 
result now told in these letters : 

Editorial office of The Atlantic Monthly. 

The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass. 
April 24, 1876. 
My dear Sir 

You have doubtless forgotten a very kind invitation you 
gave me something more than a year since to send you any- 
thing I might write in the way of a play ; and it's with no pur- 
pose of trying to create a sense of obligation in you that I recall 
a fact so gratifying to myself. 

Here is a little comedy which I have pleased myself in writ- 
ing. It was meant to be printed in The Atlantic, (and so the 
stage direction, for the reader's intelligence, was made very 
full) ; but I read it to an actor the other day, and he said it 
would play; I myself had fancied that a drawing-room car 
on the stage would be a pretty novelty, and that some amusing 
effects could be produced by an imitation of the motion of a 
train, and the collision. 

However, here is the thing. I feel so diffident about it, 
that I have scarcely the courage to ask you to read it. But if 
you will do so, I shall be very glad. 

If by any chance it should please you, and you should feel 
like bringing it out on some oif-night when nobody will be there, 
pray tell me whether it will hurt or help it, for your purpose, 
to be published in The Atlantic. Yours trulv 

W. D. Howells. 

Editorial office of The Atlantic Monthly. 
The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass. 

May 9, 1876. 
My dear Mr. Daly 

I am very much gratified that you like my little farce, though 
your kindness makes me feel its slightness all the more keenly. 


If you think it will play, it is at your disposal; I could not 
imagine a better fortune for it than you suggest ; and if it 
fails, I shall have the satisfaction — melancholy but entirely 
definite — of knowing that it was my fault. I suppose that 
even if my Parlor Car meets with an accident it need not tele- 
scope any future dramatic attempt of mine ? I confide in your 
judgment and experience; and I am going to send you some 
half dozen pages more of this size, supplying some further 
shades of character in the lady's case, and heightening the eff^ect 
of the catastrophe. 

I expect to pass through New York on my way home from 
Philadelphia about the 28th, when I will make an effort to see 

y^^- Very truly yours 

W. D. Howells. 

P.S. I went last night with Clemens to see poor Miss 
Dickinson make her debut. It was sorrowfully bad, the act- 
ing, and the heaps of cut flowers for the funeral only made the 
gloom heavier." 

While "The Parlor Car" was waiting to be attached 
to the first available train, the author was employing his 
spare hours in a dramatic work of more dignity : a comedy 
in four acts which was also to be submitted to the man- 
ager of the Fifth Avenue Theatre. It was completed in 
due time and read, but, not at all to the author's disap- 
pointment (for he said he had little hopes of its "theatrica- 
bility"), it was found wanting. 

Among the manuscripts received about this time were : 
one from the distinguished lawyer Mr. Paul Fuller, a 
play in four acts called "Peasant and Noble"; Miss 
Anna Katherine Green's first effort in the theatrical 
field; "Witchcraft," by a veteran playwright, Cor- 
nelius Matthews, who had been composing United States 
historical dramas for nearly half a century; and an 
American play by the amiable journalist, Joseph L C. 


Clarke. Bronson Howard ventured into a new field 
and forwarded from Detroit "The Tramp," which he had 
just finished. 

A joint work of Bret Harte and Mark Twain saw the 
light at the Fifth Avenue Theatre on July 31, 1877, 
when "Ah Sin" was produced after much preliminary 
advertising. We remember a literary partnership at- 
tempted by Bret Harte and Boucicault. It had come to 
naught, and Harte finished his play without the aid of 
an expert in theatrical construction. It was produced 
at the Union Square Theatre in 1876 under the title of 
"Two Men of Sandy Bar," and failed. The press be- 
labored it, and the amiable author immediately apolo- 
gized. Stuart Robson took the chief part, and perhaps 
his unnatural enunciation — which was not only not West- 
ern, but not anything known to civilization — killed it. 
Robson's utterance was only fitted for the rankest bur- 
lesque. After that experience Harte and Mark Twain 
labored together, and the result was "Ah Sin." 

There was a distinguished gathering on the first night, 
Sothern, Boucicault and Brougham and all the literary 
lights in town being in the house. The authors were 
loudly called for, and Twain appeared, Harte being then 
in Washington. A speech being of course demanded. 
Twain, who was dressed quite appropriately for the 
season in a suit of white linen, responded with his usual 
gravity. Some of the papers next day thought the 
speech better than the play. Here it is : 

"This is a very remarkable play. I don't know as you 
noticed it as it went along; but it is. The construction of this 
play and the development of the story are the result of great 
research, and erudition and genius, and invention — and pla- 
giarism. When the authors wrote it they thought they would 
put in a great lot of catastrophes and murders and such 


things, because they always enliven an evening so; but we 
wanted to have some disaster that wasn't hackneyed, and after 
a good deal of thought we hit upon the breaking down of 
a stage-coach. The worst of getting a good original idea like 
that is the temptation to overdo it; and in fact when the play 
was all done we found that we had got the stage-coach break- 
ing down seven times in the first act. It was to come right 
along here every seven minutes or so, and spill all the passengers 
over on the musicians. Well, you see, that wouldn't do; it 
made it monotonous for the musicians; and it was too stagey; 
and we had to modify it; and there isn't anything left of the 
original plan now except one breakdown of the coach, and one 
carriage break-down, and one pair of runaway horses. Maybe 
we might have spared even some of these; but you see we had 
the horses, and we didn't like to waste them. 

I wish to say also that this play is didactic rather than any- 
thing else. It is intended rather for instruction than amuse- 
ment. The Chinaman is getting to be a pretty frequent figure 
in the United States, and is going to be a great political problem, 
and we thought it well for you to see him on the stage before 
you and to deal with that problem. Then for the instruction 
of the young we have introduced a game of poker. There are 
few things that are so unpardonably neglected in our country 
as poker. The upper class know very little about it. Now and 
then you find Ambassadors who have a sort of general knowl- 
edge of the game, but the ignorance of the people at large is 
fearful. Why, I have known clergymen, good men, kind- 
hearted, liberal, sincere and all that, who did not know the 
meaning of a 'flush'; it is enough to make one ashamed of 
one's species. When our play was finished, we found it was 
so long, and so broad, and so deep — in places — that it would 
have taken a week to play it. I thought that was all right; 
we could put 'To be continued' on the curtain, and run it 
straight along. But the manager said no; it would get us 
into trouble with the general public, and into trouble with the 
general government, because the Constitution forbids the inflic- 
tion of cruel or unusual punishment; so he cut out, and cut 


out, and the more he cut out the better the play got. I never 
saw a play that was so much improved by being cut down; 
and I believe it would have been one of the very best plays in 
the world if his strength had held out so that he could cut out 
the whole of it." 

The play showed such signs of weakness that Twain, 
after he went away and thought it over, devised new 
business for the Chinaman at the end of one of the acts, 
telegraphed it to Parsloe (Ah Sin) and sent a copy to the 
manager : 

"Instead of blowing water, seize your brazier and blow a 
cloud of ashes. The men after sprawling and butting into each 
other will have their eyes full of ashes and in their blind fury 
will proceed to snatch each other by the throat — a natural 
thing for such ruffians to do; whereupon you smiling down 
upon them a moment, may sweetly say 'Me gottee gagement 
me no can waitee' or words to that effect and be sliding out 
as the curtain strikes the floor. Please try this tonight and 
telegraph me the result. The present ending would be full of 
points and a fine success in San Francisco where it would be 
understood, but we must manage to improve on it here. Be 
sure and try the above suggestion tonight unless you think of 
something stronger. S_ L. Clemens." 

But this did not save the play. The receipts gradually 
dwindled week by week for five weeks, with considerable 
loss to Daly. 

In the excitement of the first night the anxious Bret 
Harte, away in Washington, was forgotten ; and the over- 
sight drew from him a reasonable remonstrance : 

"... There is, I believe, somewhere up in Hartford an 
agent and lawyer of Mr. Clemens, who is at some time to fur- 
nish accounts &c. — to me possibly — but he doesn't, he says, 
know anything about the play since it was played in Washing- 


ton. I don't want any accounts from you or Parsloe, only a 
simple expression of your opinion as to whether the play was 
or was not successful, and as one of its authors, this does not 
seem to me to be an inconsistent request or calculated to wound 
anybody's — say Parsloe's — sensitive nature. It is the mere 
courtesy of business. 

Send me a line. Yours truly, 

Bret Harte. 
A. Daly Esq. 

5th Ave. Theatre." 

Before the production of "Ah Sin," Edward F. Rice's 
burlesque "Evangeline" was brought out. "Evange- 
line" was quite a success. Miss Eliza Weathersby was 
in it with Nat C. Goodwin, George S. Knight (made up 
to resemble Major General B. F. Butler, late of New 
Orleans), Harry Hunter, and many others. The pro- 
gramme announced as a special feature that Messrs. 
R. Golden and H. E. Dixey, as The Two Deserters, would 
execute the "Heifer Dance." This novelty was accom- 
plished, and left so deep an impression as to give rise in 
after years to the legend that Mr, DIxey's debut on the 
stage was in the character of Hind Legs, Passing over 
the inaccuracy as to the legs (he was to the fore), the fact 
is that the first appearance of this excellent comedian 
was in his early boyhood in Boston, and that he played 
many parts before he frolicked in "Evangeline," 

The plans for the new season included an engagement 
of Joseph Jefferson, who was expected early in October 
from England after an absence of two years, and who was 
to play eight weeks at the Fifth Avenue Theatre for 
seven hundred dollars each performance. Before the 
season opened dissatisfaction manifested Itself In the 
company. Coghlan was not pleased with the numerous 
changes of bill, or with his new parts. Lewis also began 


to complain. Both gentlemen, and Miss Sydney Cowell, 
appear to have been invited to a chat with Mr. Palmer of 
the Union Square. Coghlan was the only one that Palmer 
succeeded in getting ; but he was a severe loss to Daly. 

At the beginning of the season, the death of E. L. 
Davenport seriously affected his daughter, who hurried 
to his bedside. Daly's tribute to Davenport was ; 
"The ripest student, the ablest actor, the honestest man 
of the stage in his generation." 

In this year also died poor Humpty Dumpty, George 
L. Fox, who broke down completely soon after his fiasco 
at the Broadway, and Matilda Heron, yet a young woman. 
In looking over old papers I found the writing by which 
Mrs. Stoepel committed her little daughter Bijou to Mr. 
Daly for the part of Adrienne in "Monsieur Alphonse" 

(1874) : 

"Having the utmost confidence in Mr. Daly's moral care 
of my child I hereby contract my daughter Bijou Heron, 
who is under age, to the professional supervision of Augustin 
Daly Esqr. manager of the Fifth Avenue Theatre, for the 
purpose of perfecting by experience and practice the histrionic 
talents which she inherits from me; & for the purpose of inten- 
sifying my instructions in the art of acting; & for availing her- 
self of the advantages of Mr. Daly's Theatre ; but I understand 
that this does not carry the custody of my daughter when not 

And the renewal contract next year is subscribed : 

" In full confidence in Mr. Daly, as authorized by well-tried 
experience of his faithful care of my daughter Bijou Heron, I 
herewith subscribe my name, fully endorsing the above. 

Matilda Heron." 

"The Dark City" was the title given to the new play 
which the manager prepared for the opening of his sea- 


son, and an enormous amount of time and trouble was 
spent upon it. It was a decided departure from the 
"society dramas" which had for years been seen on the 
Fifth Avenue stage. Miss Dyas was to create the part 
of the wronged orphan Sybil Chase and Miss Rigl that 
of the spoiled beauty Rula. The scenery, like that of 
"Under the Gaslight," exhibited locaUties familiar to 
explorers of Old New York. 

The new play, in spite of the intelligence and labor 
spent upon it, was an immediate failure. It had no public 
in that theatre. It was not below the taste of its patrons 
any more than Parodi's tragedy was above it ; both were 
out of sympathy with the Fifth Avenue audiences, 
that was all. How the new piece might have been 
received in the days when Augustin's sensational dramas 
crowded his early theatres can only be conjectured ; the 
one thing material was that it failed him just when he 
needed a success, and a great success, to float him over 
the shallows. His responsibilities were enormous; and 
when the first instalment of rent for September was due, 
and he was unable to pay it, it was clamored for with 
threats of ejectment. This demand to a man of sensi- 
tive spirit, who had been for nearly five years — during 
the worst financial panic the country had ever known 
— working so indomitably in the face of defections, de- 
sertions, and violent competition, roused in him a fierce 
and resentful spirit. When the threat of ejectment was 
uttered, he instantly offered to surrender the theatre. 
The surprised lessors could only accept. They had been 
discontented. One complaint on their part was Daly's 
unsociability and unapproachability — characteristics 
which seem to awaken in persons who have never even 
met their supposed possessors, a sense of personal resent- 
ment. Then there was gossip, utterly baseless, that he 


had made several fortunes and squandered them. The 
fact is that he Hved in a modest style, kept no horses, no 
yacht, no country house. His sole luxury was a library, 
the accumulation of ten years, which when sold brought 
only $8000, and which he had already pledged to pay his 
theatre expenses. What became of the fortunes he had 
made may be gathered from these pages — over a thou- 
sand dollars lost in the Grand Opera House, fifteen thou- 
sand spent in fitting up anew the Twenty-fourth Street 
house, thirty thousand lost by the fire, thirty-five thou- 
sand for remodelling 728 Broadway, over forty thousand 
for furnishing the house in twenty-eighth Street, in addi- 
tion to the losses of five seasons. 

To understand how Mr. Daly could bring himself to 
sacrifice in a moment his past and perhaps his future, 
and resign the position which had been the goal of his 
ambition, we have to consider how little calculation or 
self-interest sways a man of his nature, smarting under a 
sense of unworthy treatment. This was the second time 
his landlords had threatened him with ejectment. The 
first time was when he was pushed to the wall by the 
injunctions against his performance, obtained two years 
before by Wallack. The present threat was the last 
straw laid upon the back of an overburdened man. 

When arrangements for the surrender of the theatre 
were in progress, the lessors experienced some regret for 
the turn aff"airs had taken, but it was too late; the news 
had got abroad. The lease and arrears of rent were 
cancelled in consideration of the lessee leaving half his 
scenery and all his furnishings and equipments, including 
the seats in the theatre. As his own comment on this 
event I find a single line in his hand : "Negotiations con- 
cluded. $45,000 for $8,300, and peace and rest." 

The afi"air startled the newspapers. The journals 


recalled Daly's exploits, the favorites of the stage he had 
helped to develop, the companies with which he had 
spanned the continent, the list of successful plays he had 
written, the disasters he had overcome. All but one 
voiced regret at his retirement; that one, to the general 
amazement, observed that it was surprising so little 
sympathy was expressed for him in the theatrical pro- 
fession ! 

It was hard to say whom he could possibly have in- 
jured in his career, except perhaps the ticket speculators. 
He did manifest towards them hardness of heart. He 
originated in the very first year of management in the 
little twenty-fourth Street house a plan to circumvent 
them. It had been a crying shame at Wallack's that when 
a successful play created a demand, the house was practi- 
cally sold out at once to a speculator whose agents retailed 
the tickets in the lobby day and night at an advance. 
It had been done at other theatres. It was a business-like 
way of taking advantage of an excessive demand and a 
limited supply, and practically doubling the receipts of 
the house. 

As to sympathy in the profession, it was manifested 
in letters from actors in his company and out of it, and 
from managers in other cities ; and it is especially worthy 
of note that the business houses with which he dealt 
refrained from troubling him during this stress. One 
of them wrote him immediately upon receiving back an 
invoice of goods they had just sent : 

"We simply oifer you our humble helping hand, i.e., if you 
want to resume business in this City in your professional pur- 
suit, we will furnish to your order for the next twelve months 
to come such goods as we keep in our establishment which 
you may need in your business if you want to avail yourself 


I have found many letters testifying to his personal 
and business courtesy and generosity. Bronson Howard, 
in a letter to Florence (May 14, 1877), in relation to a 
play to be written for the latter and produced at the Fifth 
Avenue, bears this testimony : 

"I think you had better talk to Daly and so have a three- 
cornered talk on the subject. He is crammed full of good 
ideas. You may depend on this in reference to Daly — if he 
sees a better chance for a popular success in the suggestion I 
make than in the ideas now in his own head he will not let any 
desire to do his own piece weigh an ounce in making his deci- 
sion. This is one of his strongest peculiarities. I can assure 
you of this from my personal experience. He offered me his 
title of Divorce long before he used it himself. Read him any 
suggestions for the play and write to me. ..." 

Augustin inscribed in his box-office book under the 
head of gth Season, yth week, 4yth performance : 

"The end of the first book ! To night A. D. retires from the 
theatre he built up." 


The company was called to the green-room on Monday, 
September 10, (1877), and informed that Mr. Daly would 
withdraw from the theatre when the curtain fell on 
Saturday night; that he proposed to carry on his season 
by a tour to various cities, and that he would take with 
him everybody who was willing to come. Miss Dyas 
asked to be permitted to retire. Miss Davenport, who 
was starring, was not concerned in the immediate situa- 
tion. Lewis was very discontented, and before the week 
was out Mr. Daly begged him to better himself elsewhere. 
Fisher was too old to travel. Some members of the com- 
pany had already received offers from other managers, 
and among them was Mrs. Gilbert, who was sought at 


once by Palmer. She remained with Mr. Daly until the 
last night, and by that time he had learned that she had 
accepted an engagement at the Union Square. We can 
conjecture what his countenance told her from the letter 
she wrote when she went home : 

Dear Governor " Saturday Night. 

My heart is very full and sore. I grieve more than you 
know when I have done anything that angers or even displeases 
you. I have almost unconsciously clung to you for sympathy 
and comfort in my loneliness, and to feel now that I have been 
misjudged hurts me. I have no business to trouble you with 
all this, but I feel that I must ease my heart some way before 
I go to bed. 

I admit I should have seen you before I answered Air. 
Palmer's letter, but even so I don't see what excuse I could 
have made for refusing. He would be sure to think it came 
from you, and that would be very undesirable. 

Very sincerely 

Keeping up his spirits, the still youthful manager 
departed with his faithful few; and a message to me in 
cheerful vein gives some of his experiences : 

Dear Brother, "Baltimore, Oct. 7th, 1877. 

In Paterson, & face to face with $167 worth of people. The 
rain drowned out or washed out the orchestra I had engaged, 
and none turned up for the performance : — so at the eleventh 
(or seventh) hour I had a piano brought in, and had Sydney 
Cowell to play it between the acts. Sydney had by some lucky 
chance met some of the ladies of the Company that day in New 
York, & had come over to Paterson with them, on a lark. She 
came to scoff — & remained to play. Thus did I grind good 
out of evil. Amen ! — Saturday evening I produced Divorce 
in Wilmington . . . the house was filled — and I think I 
begin to see daylight from this indication." 


He came back to open Booth's Theatre for Jefferson's 
engagement. Jefferson assented to the transfer on condi- 
tion that he got more money ; cabhng : 

"Will consent on condition of receiving clear half after eigh- 
teen hundred in addition to the seven hundred." 

This was acceded to, and Jefferson began on October 29, 
1877, with "Rip Van Winkle." It was, as I have said, his 
first appearance after an absence of two years, and he 
anticipated very large business, as is indicated by his 
providing for the event of the nightly receipts exceed- 
ing $1800. As it turned out, they averaged only $1274 per 
night for his four weeks, or twenty-four performances. 
He received ^700 each time he played — more than his 
manager got. He was probably not fully conscious of 
the low level to which theatrical business as well as all 
other business had settled down in the United States. 
Reference has not been made to one cause of it — the 
extensive and violent railroad strike which paralyzed the 
country in the summer of 1877. Riots accompanied the 
strike in the West and South, and were apprehended in 
New York, where anarchist meetings were held in the 
squares. Mob demonstrations were, however, checked 
by prompt military precautions, the various regiments of 
the National Guard being openly drilled at night on the 
streets in front of their armories to exhibit their prepared- 
ness for trouble. 

Mr. Daly was of course not alone among theatrical 
managers to suffer from this culmination of the long 
financial distress. Most of them resorted to the expe- 
dient of "papering" their houses (Sothern would have 
called it "protecting"); but Augustin, like the firm old 
business man his father-in-law Duff, disliked to hoodwink 
the public. It was reported that the overwhelming 


crowds at one large theatre represented ^2000 and yet 
the actual receipts were only ^400. The manager of 
another large theatre, one of the finest in the city and in 
the country, invented the ingenious scheme of attracting 
the populace by reducing the price of admission to twenty- 
five cents, and when he got the crowd in, charging them 
twenty-five cents more for a seat. Wallack, while his 
own theatre was open, played at the Grand Opera House 
at cheap prices. As an indication of the ebb in realty 
values at this period, it is enough to say that the fine 
country estate of J. W. Wallack at Long Branch, being 
put up at auction in separate lots (August, 1877), brought 
only ^80 to ^95 per city lot. Even Augustin could afford 
to bid for four of them at that price, and then the rest 
were withdrawn. Real estate investments, by the way, 
have ever been favorites with theatrical folk — the ambi- 
tion of those wandering tribes being the acquisition of a 
home. Adelaide Neilson this year parted with some 
holdings of hers — four lots on the northeast corner of 
Broadway and eighty-first Street. 

Augustin's early friend, Charles Frederic Briggs, died 
this year (June 21, 1877), and I find this memorandum 
concerning him : 

"C. F. B. was the first editor who gave me any encourage- 
ment to persevere at the outset of my literary career. I offered 
him my first contribution when he was editor of the Courier 
— 1859 — and it was accepted, and step by step he advanced 
me. His kindness was maintained to the end and in The 
Independent he has uttered some of his cheeriest words of me." 

There was published about this time an account of 
Sardou's lean and hungry youth. When his "Pattes de 
Mouche" was accepted by Dejazet, he confided to a 
friend that it was his last chance, and said, "If I fail, I 


shall sail for the United States to-morrow and try my 
luck at journalism" ! 

Seymour of the Times, an esteemed associate of the 
old days when Augustin was dramatic reviewer, died in 
May. Of this excellent musical and dramatic critic, 
his friend significantly writes "A gentleman." The 
decease of old Mr. Worrell, once a famous circus clown, 
recalled his ambitious parental effort to set his three 
daughters on the road to fortune when he leased the old 
New York Theatre ; and the unhappy ending of Thomas 
Placide, "poor stem of a fine old stock," awoke memories 
of the Burton days. Placide ended a romantic history 
by disregarding the "canon 'gainst self-slaughter." He 
had retired from the stage about 1867. 

To return to the season at Booth's : Disappointed 
with the result of it, Mr. Jefferson refused to remain there 
longer than four weeks, but agreed to try his fortune in 
other cities upon a tour with Augustin as manager. 
They opened in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and the morn- 
ing of their arrival he and Augustin visited the grave of 
the elder Jefferson. In the evening a house of only ^608 
(of which Joseph got one-half) greeted the famous Rip 
Van Winkle, who must have thought that he was still 
asleep and having a bad dream. The idea of the tour 
was soon abandoned, and Augustin set out with his com- 
pany upon his own account. 

The season at Booth's, so abruptly terminated, was 
filled out by Miss Davenport, whom Mr. Daly brought 
in for "As You Like It" and "The School for Scandal" 
during the holidays. After that she went with the Daly 
company on its tour of four months. This was her last 
appearance under his management. Afterwards she 
engaged a company of her own. The following year 
she played at the Union Square Theatre in Will's drama- 


tization of "The Vicar of Wakefield," called "Olivia," 
and impersonated the lovely and wronged heroine with 
touching sympathy and effect. For twenty years after- 
wards she continued to be a prominent figure on the 
American stage. Her last appearance in New York was 
at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in February, 1898, in "La 
Tosca," and her regretted death occurred in the Sep- 
tember following, in her forty-eighth year. She was 
twice married, both times to actors : in 1879 to E. F. 
Price and in 1888 to Melvin McDowell. 

It may not be out of place here to give an account of 
the Fifth Avenue Theatre after Mr. Daly left it. To 
the general surprise, it was opened by Messrs. Fiske and 
Harkins. It was doubtless an exaggerated idea of the 
value of their property, and a notion that only mismanage- 
ment on Mr. Daly's part had prevented the theatre being 
crowded to the doors whenever they were opened, that 
induced the lessors' peremptoriness, and it must have 
been illuminating to them to find that the only bidders 
for the place were the late lessee's former business man- 
ager and a former member of his company. The new 
managers set out to reverse the Daly policy and to con- 
duct the place strictly as a star theatre. Unencumbered 
by an expensive company, they kept it going for the 
remainder of that season, introducing (for the first time) 
Mary Anderson and Madame Modjeska, and miscel- 
laneous entertainments including English opera and 
pantomime. A second season, though it repeated the 
Anderson and Modjeska engagements, supplemented 
by one of Booth and one of Jefferson, lost money so 
rapidly that it ended disastrously in January, 1879, with 
a strike for salaries behind the scenes, the familiar pro- 
ceedings to dispossess the tenants for non-payment of 
rent, and, in addition, a bitter litigation between the 


partners. Mr. Fiske then withdrew and Mr. Harkins 
took another partner, but after further unavaihng eflFort 
he also reHnquished his hold. 

After several brief experiments by different managers 
the theatre was taken in 1880 by Haverly, a speculator 
in negro-minstrelsy. He was replaced in 1882 by John 
Stetson, who spent on theatres the money made with a 
sensational newspaper. He was succeeded in 1888 by 
Eugene Tompkins of Boston, and in 1890 by Harry 
Miner, an impresario from the Bowery and Eighth Avenue. 
On January 2, 1891, the theatre was destroyed by fire 
— eighteen years, almost to a day, after its beautiful 
predecessor, the first Fifth Avenue Theatre, met with 
the same fate. When each fire occurred, Miss Davenport 
was playing — the last time, as a star; and on this occa- 
sion she lost the scenery and costumes of her "Cleopatra." 
Fortunately this fire, like the other, occurred after a 
performance. Daly never reentered the building as a 
manager after he left it in 1877. Sixteen months after 
its destruction in 1891, it was rebuilt and relet to Miner 
and resumed its career as an industrial enterprise. In 
the fall of 1898 Mr. Daly's musical company with "The 
Runaway Girl" was transferred to it from Daly's Theatre 
and continued there its remarkably successful career. 
Of late years the theatre has been devoted to vaudeville 
and other light amusements. 

The chronicle of Augustin's tour of 1 877-1 878 is con- 
tained in letters from Syracuse, Richmond, Raleigh, 
Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans, Mobile, and Nash- 
ville. Their interest consists in the observations they 
contain upon the cities of the old South as they emerged 
from the desolation of war and reconstruction. 


"Richmond, Jan. 29, '78. 

Here I am at the Portal of the sunny south. My waking 
sight of ole Virginny from the car window yesterday morning 
fell upon puddly lands, broken fences, lonely-looking frame 
houses and sleepy-looking darkies driving depressed-looking 
teams. An hour later we rattled into Richmond — whose 
neglected outskirts gave little promise of the livelier condition 
within. I have had two walks over the city, and one thing 
impresses me first of all & in contrast to our trim and sightly 
prospects north and west — & that is the carelessness of 
appearance, & slovenliness of outside all the public buildings 
have here. The R. R. Station is a shed built years since be- 
side an unkept road, into whose muddy depths the passenger 
sinks, to his own disquiet & the delight of the multitude of 
bootblacks who hover about the scene like hyenas waiting their 
prey. Everything presents a lively bustling air, however, and 
I liken the city to one awakening from a long sleep. 

I haven't seen a single darkey since I got in. They all 
appear to be married & have large families or lots of relations. 
They swarm, & come & go in swarms. I have been run down 
for passes by the sprightly mulatto chambermaids & the dusky 
office boys & the native maroon table attendants — but in 
each & every instance they wanted 'em for three or four : for 
their 'bressed little chillern' or 'de ole woman & de chile' 
or 'my gal, boss, & her mudder' or 'me & my brudder' and 
sich like. There is a 'Nigger Heaven' (as the third tier is 
called in Troy) here, & as 'tis very capacious I have been liberal 
with my pencilled passes, & I expect to be sung in Hymns at 
'de Tabby Nuckle' next 'Sabbath.' " 

"Raleigh, N. C. Feb'y. ist, 1878. 

My foot is on my native heath, my name's — As You Like 
It. But alas, I must be dead to all emotion. I neither thrilled 
nor throbbed. To be sure once I did think I felt a sort of ele- 
vating and ennobling emotion, and I was beginning to think 
better of myself — but I had hardly got my Pride & Patriot- 


ism well kindled when the brutal conductor informed me I was 
still some miles from the border line, & I wilted at once. 

To-night we are in Raleigh — a city without a paved street, 
& yet an extensive & important-looking place. At any rate 
its citizens have turned out to-night en masse, headed by the 
Governor (not that Governor of North Carolina who made 
the historical remark to the Governor of South Carolina) but 
Governor Vance, to whom I was introduced & whom I escorted 
to a box amid the enthusiastic approbation of the entire audi- 
ence. Everybody seems to know I'm a native — & they wel- 
come me as a brother. I have been presented already (here 
five hours only) to eighty-seven colonels and a hundred and 
forty-nine majors. The Judiciary have been backward — 
the Attorney General is the nearest approach to the wool-sack 
I've met. 

Yesterday — (or rather last night) — I was in Norfolk, 
& after the play I took a ramble by myself over our old walks. 
... A spot I lingered near longest was the old ground where 
the circus used to pitch its tents, — the back stairs of the 
theatre land upon the identical field ; there and near Scott's 
old school house; and the little tobacco shop (replaced by a 
much grander one) where you invested Santa Claus's money 
that fatal Christmas in your first & last plug of Virginia Honey- 
Comb." ^ 

"Savannah, Feb. 12, '78. 
I have heard Savannah called the Garden City of the South 
— but to me it looks like a city of decay. There is not a sign 
of newness about the place from the river bank to the limits. 
Everything looks as though it stood just where it grew with the 
town — unaltered ; unimproved ; undestroyed ; and simply 
enduring with Time the storms of the years and the seasons' 
changes. The sidewalks are paved — but the drives are 
unstoned. At every other square the streets are blocked by 
a little park — of crosswalks & grass plots and a mound of 
shrubs or a fountain. The houses are mostly low & squatty as 
' I was six years old on that occasion. 


though designed to meet the shock of earthquakes. The 
Theatre is the oddest old building you ever saw; built seventy 
years ago upon the English model ; and it remains almost 
unchanged. The Parquette is called the Pit — & the balcony 
the dress circle. The seats are plain straight benches with a 
little tuft for a seat — & a narrow strip of uncovered wood for 
a back. Remnants of the old-style English boxes still exist 
on the second tier — but the 'Gentry' no longer resort to 
them & they are mostly occupied by the manly 'sect.' The 
proscenium is very old & odd too and has an opening each 
side for the stars to answer calls without disturbing the 

I believe 'tis the oldest theatre in America now, since 
the Holiday Street house in Baltimore was burned. And its 
very dinginess is suggestive. Kean & Booth & Macready & 
Fanny Kemble & Charles Kemble and Ellen Tree and the 
elder Mathews and all the lights of Art so long sunken in their 
sockets flashed forth from these creaky boards their brightest 
fires — & warmed two generations past into enthusiasm. 

I cannot fall in love exactly with Savannah, spite of its 
memories & its warm welcome; mostly, I think, because it 
seems to lack the elements of life. It is clouded — and 
shrouded. There is a moss which hangs upon every tree in & 
out of it, obscuring the foliage, & covering it like a heavy grey 
cobweb. You will see whole Avenues of handsome trees 
engloomed with this moss — which in the early sunrise is said 
to look beautiful, sprinkled with dew & reflecting the rays of 
the rising sun in a million diamond drops ; but something of 
this web-like moss seems to over-spread the city — and give 
it a cemetery look. 

I liked Charleston better. Out of New York I've seen no 
city so handsome ; none so wakeful and full of life & spirit 
. . . Some of the finest mansions of the country are standing 
here almost in the very heart of the town ; and round The 
Battery — a Park very much like our own Battery — is a 
street shaped like a crescent & lined with a succession of grand 
old-fashioned mansions ; with triple-tiered terraces ; roomy 


yards & gardens — where orange trees abound ; and fenced in 
by massive brick walls & old-fashioned gateways, with their 
tinselled iron ornaments." 

"New Orleans, February 19th, '78. 

I think I wrote you last from Savannah ; the city upon whose 
rising head some almighty power seems to have placed its 
hand years ago, and said to it: stand still. My next jump 
was to Macon — along the line of Sherman's march : it was a 
dreary sort of day through a dreary sort of country returning 
again to its cotton prosperity. We stopped for dinner at an 
imposing-looking wooden mansion reached by some fifty steps 
(more or less) where I struck the first novelty of Southern menu 
— syrup pie ! a mixture of meal & molasses baked tart style in 
a crust. One bite was sufficient ! The taste haunts me at 
times since with spectral horrors. Our train this same day 
stopped at a wood station to wood up, just as Robinson's 
Circus was letting out. It was one of the strangest of sights. 
Scarcely half a dozen houses in sight — yet a thousand resi- 
dents of the surrounding country gathered here in wagons, 
on mule back, and in ox teams. I seemed to be recognized on 
the platform by some of 'the boys' — for they made a dash 
for me, & I was speedily introduced to 'Old John Robinson's 
bulliest son,' & to 'Our Jester,' and the 'celebrated summer- 
set rider,' & many others too numerous to mention but equally 
rough & dirty, & equally 'proud to shake hands with me.' 
They were all happy ; only gave day performances, to save 
gas ; & were unanimous in denouncing the license laws of 
Georgia. At the next town I got the enclosed letter from one 
of the boys — which I think you will smile over. ... 

Well, St. James & St. Giles parted — after quite a frater- 
nization of the two companies — (Tommy Jefferson & the 
Jester of the Arena even shedding tears on shaking hands) 
and we got on to Macon. . . . 

After Macon I spent a few hours in Atlanta, which I saw 
(unfavorably) in a shower. But it looks large & lively. The 
Theatre is long, low & churchlike with square galleries — like 


most of these country theatres ; but it promised to be fairly- 
full. After Atlanta came Montgomery. Years ago I think 
I called the town of Cairo, 111., the hole of creation ; it being 
the dirtiest city I had ever laid eyes on. But Cairo is a parlor 
compared to Montgomery, Ala. And why the place should be 
kept so filthy I cannot understand. The streets are broad & 
handsome (though unpaved), the houses are substantial, of 
brick & stone, & are really very finely built. . . . But hotels, 
theatres, & stores are absolutely filthy. The scrub brush has 
not polluted their grimy floors or sides for years. Whitewash 
is unknown and paint is prohibited. Even the broom & duster 
appear to be scarcely-known articles of civilization. Pigs 
without number & of every size are as plentiful in the streets 
as dogs & cats are in New York — & I have seen the frolick- 
some calf indulging its appetite by its parent's side in the public 
gutter — which by the way was grass-grown, sunny & dusty. 
Cows wander about the streets loosely. A fountain of green 
stagnant water fills the public square, round which the negro 
marketwomen gathered the day I was there — to the number 
of 2 or 3 score, — giving the only gay & festal look to the city 
I could see. . . . The Shaughraun was played here last week 
& was a dire failure — the wake scene being rotten-egged three 
nights in succession, — till it was cut out. 

(The Enclosure :) 

Brown's Hotel, Macon, Ga., Feb. loth 1878. 

I am A young man 20 years of Age. I have been travelling 
With old John Robinson's Circus and Menagerie. I play B. 
flat Cornet in the Band and now I would like to leave this show 
and travel with your Company to take Charge of Property 
and play B. flat Cornet in your Orchestra, and that will save 
you the trouble of hiring A Cornet player in every town you 
go to and I will work for the Moderate Salary of 10 Dollars A 
Week and Expenses. I want to get with A Hall Show the 
Worst way please Write and let me know if you can give me A 
Snap or not. I understand the Business as I have traveled 


with other theatre Companys and I can furnish you Recom- 
mends as I am Strictly temperate and would be A good Dresser 
if you will want me please Answer Immediately and Direct to 
Davisboro georgia as that is where we will be on the i6th of 
this Month and I see that you are Billed to be here on the 14th 
so please Write or telegraph." 

" St. Charles Hotel, New Orleans, Feb. 24, '78. 

New Orleans is a disappointing city. ... I have read in 
one of the local sheets however that 'though peace & quiet 
have come to the city — never was business so dull — want so 
prevalent — nor suffering so universal.' Still the papers are 
sad liars. For instance I read every day letters from New 
Orleans in the New York Herald — how 'excitement is at 
fever heat about the Returning Board trials,' how 'the scenes 
of a year ago are revived' & how 'the political situation looks 
grave' ! When the fact is, there is not half as much fuss, talk 
or fever about the courts, hotels or street corners — where 
you generally look for 'excitement' — as there is in a New 
York country village. The Returning Board has not demanded 
any passes to see Pique — and no one threatened us with the 
vengeance of the White League unless we issued complimen- 
taries to the city officials. The negro is not rampant — nor 
in any way offensively prominent. He is quite as deferential 
as the Hortiest Sutherner! could desire. I was standing be- 
side a white brother yesterday, & he hailed an ebony swell in 
a stove-pipe who was passing with a familiar 'Hello Jim' — & 
Hello Jim replied with 'He, he, how — yeh?' and I was in- 
formed that Jim was a senator. He seemed to wear his honors 
easily. 'Policy' rules the day here, I fear, rather than Politics. 
I've taken three nibbles myself, but got bitten, & so I've re- 
formed. They have daily drawings & monthly drawings — 
& the little blue tickets hang in alluring hundreds on strings in 
every cigar store window. You can buy one number for 
twenty-five cents, or two numbers for fifty cents or four for a 
dollar: & run a chance of getting $1,000. The entire Fifth 
Avenue Company laid in a stock of numbers one morning and 


went about the streets for several hours swelled with antici- 
pated possession until about four o'clock, when the wheel was 
turned, and they all glided back to their several cots collapsed 
and misanthropic comedians. 

Between soda water at five cents a glass & Lottery Tickets 
at a quarter a number — the happy & open-mouthed visitor 
in New Orleans relieves his person of much dollars. Every 
alternate shop upon the festive streets of this city has a soda 
fountain; I never saw so many. I wonder how the city 
escapes a grand human explosion. . . . Yesterday I started 
out on a search. I began at the north & explored east & west 
& went due south — throughout the New City and the old 
— in the American quarter & among the French colony — 
but in vain I looked : nowhere could I find — a Basement or 
a Cellar ! New Orleans is absolutely without such a luxury. 

One thing about this city you would admire, I think; & 
that is the way in which it hedges in its courts with quiet. 
While the judicial officers are sitting they stretch chains across 
the crossings which guard the approaches to the Court build- 
ings ; & put up iron signs on which are inscribed : 

Halt ! ! The Court is open. 

The City is quite gay just now — on the eve of Mardi-Gras. 
Every train brings fresh arrivals from the rural districts and from 
the northern cities — & the hotels & boarding houses are filling 
up. The streets are lively with processions & bands. Next 
week we are to have a torchlight turnout of the Mystic Knights 
of Mornus, and this being one of the big events of the season 
we have to close the theatre as no one will pay a dollar to 
go inside. N. O. is not behind its Northern rivals in preferring 
the Free Show to the Pay Performance. . . . 

I wrote to Mary the other day about my books, &c. — But 
it has occurred to me perhaps I could sell off all my pictures, 
bronzes and superfluous furniture & save my books. I fear if 
I have to sacrifice those printed treasures this time I'll never 
have ambition to buy another book again or build another 


Having completed his season and fulfilled his contracts 
with his company, the manager returned to New York 
to consider obtaining a new theatre. Mr. Eno, pro- 
prietor of the site on which the first Fifth Avenue stood, 
and who remembered the early successes of Daly there, 
made him the following propositions : To let the new hall 
as it stood for ^10,000 per annum for ten years, the lessee 
to convert it into a theatre at a cost ranging from ^40,000 
to ^70,000, or the lessor to build the theatre and lease 
it for ^15,000 per annum, or the lessor and tenant to share 
such cost, in which case the rent would be ^12,000. 
Fortunately Augustin did not close with any of these 
propositions, which, however, were not illiberal ; but his 
judgment then was that the property was too small for 
the general purposes of theatrical business, and the pro- 
posed term of ten years too brief for an investment. 
Meanwhile, preparations were on foot for whatever theatre 
might be acquired. Augustin wrote to Bronson Howard 
to attach him to the enterprise, and proposed an engage- 
ment to Miss Ethel. The replies were encouraging. 

One preliminary essential to resuming business was to 
obtain an extension from the creditors who were left 
outstanding when the Twenty-eighth Street house was 
closed. In this project he was assisted by his counsel, 
Mr. Richard M. Henry, and they set out together on one 
of the hottest days of the season. With the strain of his 
anxieties, he was prostrated completely by heat and ex- 
haustion, but he was able to write that he found "the 
creditors generally very nice," 

One site for a theatre he always favored ; it was that 
which eventually became Daly's Theatre, but the expense 
of fitting it for his purpose and the still uncertain theatri- 
cal business made him pause; and he resolved to use the 
time of waiting in a visit — his first — abroad : 


" I feel that it would be wholly impossible for me to remain in 
New York — idle — for a year, or even for a month if I had no 
prospect of work at the end of it; and so I have made up my 
mind to make a trip over the sea ; — perhaps there I may find 
a market, which is closed to me here. At all events I can but 
try. The effort will keep me busy, and if I fail I have become 
so used to disappointments now, that one more will not hurt 
me worse than idleness here without any effort or any hope at 
all. . . . 

I got nearly all my creditors to sign the extension — & I 
shall feel better to leave the matter that way. In 2 years 
some change must occur. It cannot be for the worse — for 
that is impossible ; unless it be Death steps in — and I believe 
firmly that in some way or other I shall rise above all my worries 
and anxieties & debts, within that time." 

On the 28th of August, 1877, Augustin sailed on the 
Italy for London. His brother-in-law James Duff was 
to have been his companion, but at the last moment 
business compelled him to stay over for another steamer, 
and we regretfully saw my brother depart alone. 

FOURTH PERIOD: 1 877-1 879 


First impression of London in the seventies. Concert at Covent 
Garden. Gaiety Theatre, and Terry as Jeames Yellowplush. 
Sunday. London indifference. The Adelphi Theatre. Alhambra 
Music Hall and Prince of Wales Theatre. Temple Garden. The 
Alexandra Theatre, Liverpool. First view of Irving. Haymarket 
Theatre and H. J. Byron. Introduction to the editors of the Era 
and the Figaro. Lodgings in Jermyn street. Folly theatre. 
The Crystal Palace. The Abbey. Mrs. John Wood. Her 
characteristic letters. Visit to Finchley Burgess, the great min- 
strel. Lionel Brough. Farjeon and his wife Margaret Jefferson. 
Visit to Mrs. Wood. Arthur Cecil of the Prince of Wales and Terry 
of the Gaiety. Drury Lane and the "Winter's Tale." English 
audiences contrasted with American. Canterbury Music Hall. 
Nelly Powers' Irish song. Bartoletti. Grecian Theatre, and 
George Conquest in one of his "thrillers." Glimpse of Beacons- 
field. Greenwich, but no whitebait. Richmond, and maids of 
honor. Rochester and Edwin Drood's crypt. Gadshill. "The 
Lady of Lyons Married and Settled." Dinner at the Garrick 
Club. Cordiality of old actors and new journalists. George 
Conquest a "Gaslight" pirate, now leading a better life. Remark- 
able runs of plays. First night verdict never considered final. 
Invitation to the Laboucheres. Dinner at the Savage club. Man- 
ager of Drury Lane. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" running at five 
theatres. Opposition not harmful in London, each theatre hav- 
ing its own public. "Negro" dialect on the English stage. Pope's 
villa at Twickenham. Henrietta Hodson. Strawberry Hill. 
Visit to the Queen's Laundry. Failure of the bank of Glasgow. 
Wilkie Collins. Bijou Heron at school in Paris. Irving gets the 
Lyceum Theatre. The Olympic, Coleman and Neville. Mr. and 
Mrs. German Reed's entertainments. Corney Grain charming. 
Nothing suitable for America except " Pinafore." Theory of a 
successful theatre. Slowness in preparing plays in London. 
Warmth and constancy of English audiences. A visit to the crim- 
inal courts. Observations on the mode of trials. 



"London, September 12, '78. 

I trod the dust of the Mighty City — (Good name for a 
play that !) for the first time on Tuesday, coming upon it from 
the Fenchurch St. Station of the Overground R. R. If Wall 
St. Ferry were a R. R. depot it would give you an idea of what 
part of the city I saw first. The day was lovely — so far the 
augury was good. . . . The sail up the Thames from its mouth 
was most interesting. Gravesend gives you the first radical 
change of town scenery, and the difference between the odd old 
houses there and those of our own dear land is most decided. 
The river is the most wriggle'y stream I ever saw. One of the 
spots which recalled my old 5th Ave. days was Tilbury Fort. 
I thought I saw the two beefeaters asleep in front of it — & 
almost heard Matthews directing the rehearsal of The Critic. 
... So far I have turned my saunterings into the city proper 

— have seen a London fire, a London fog, and a London rain 

— all of them quite like our own. I have also seen a London 
Beadle — a Parochial Beadle, coat,- staff, cocked hat & all. I 
nearly capsized at the sight, — I thought it was Davidge at first. 
Have found that this city is also blessed with an unfinished 
court house, which is called the Palace of Justice, and in which 
all the Courts of Law are to be moved when it is finished ; it 
has been as long building (and is not half up) — and has cost 
nearly as much money as the late Mr. Tweed's little affair. 
I am doing a deal of walking to keep my spirits up — for spite 
of the busy & novel scenes about me I am terribly lonely. I 
have spent an evening at Covent Garden Theatre listening to 
a concert, and one at the Gaiety Theatre. ... I have seen no 
one yet who would make any great hit in N. Y. Terry the 
comedian at the Gaiety is good, but he is too popular here for 
his own good, for he does not act earnestly. I saw him in a 
very clever adaptation of Thackeray's 'Jeames Yellow- 
Plush,' which though appreciated here would hardly make a 
hit in New York." 


"'Morleys,' London — Sunday, Sept. 15, '78. 

I have a dull overclouded day for my first Sunday in^London. 
I went to the oratory at Brompton this morning. . . . Sunday is 
quite as quiet here as it is in N. Y., and I fancy from the ad- 
vertising columns that much excursioning is done. Indeed so 
far I get but this impression of difference between the two 
cities (beyond the question of size, of course) — in New^York 
there is a friendlier spirit between man & man even in the 
streets, which extends itself at times too much into a disposi- 
tion to know each other's business ; while here there is such an 
utter indifference to everybody else in the faces & the walks of 
everybody as they plod on their way, that one is not surprised to 
find it extend even to the cabbies, who never look at you unless 
you hail them, and who under no circumstances whatever 
solicit you to ride. 

The Theatres, so far as I have seen them here, are much 
better than they have been reported. I do not find them dirty 
or dingy inside — though the entrances are queer in some in- 
stances. But the Adelphi, the old time house of melodrama, 
where 'Leah' had its 300 night run, is every bit as clean, as 
roomy & as convenient as Wallack's, while the Gaiety is (I 
think) more elegant than any house we have. I shall not see 
the real London favorites for a month or more, as the season 
does not begin till October. I went to the Alhambra (the 
Niblo's Garden I should class it of London) — & saw a very 
poor comic opera & Ballet spectacle called Fatinitza and the 
Golden Wreath. It had been running a hundred nights or more, 
& the scenery & dresses, though they bore the signs of taste & 
elegance, were much worn. It was the last night of the piece, 
and I saw the Prince of Wales in one of the boxes, — a row of 
dark little rooms extending round the entire first circle. He 
looks fat and lazy. There is one thing I admire about the 
theatres here ; they know how to charge ; in most of them the 
orchestra stalls are 10/ -($2.50) and the dress circle 6/ -or 
5/- ($1.50 & $1.25). If you go to book your seat in advance 
they charge 1/ (25 cts.) extra. I want to see a London First 


Night. The opportunity offers Monday coming. Byron 
makes his first appearance and produces a new play, — at the 
Haymarket. So I wanted to secure a stall, and I went to the 
box office of the theatre, and came out again with my stall, but 
minus $2.75. I know I shall relish that performance: it has 
been as expensive as early fruit. 

In one of my strolls I passed through a low archway that 
looked like a carriage entrance to one of the houses on the 
strand : I found myself in a large court, and beyond one or two 
narrow passages, some trees : a Church was on the left, a round 
old stone Church : everything was as quiet as death in here, 
although the windows of the buildings on either hand denoted 
occupancy ; the change from the din and clatter of the street 
outside was instantaneous ; the few people you met in the place 
seemed to wear list slippers or go on tip-toe, so noiselessly did 
they tread. It was well they did — for the flagging one trod 
underfoot was composed of graveyard tablets, some of brown 
stone, some white, all stained with age & the seasons' change, 
and most of the inscriptions worn away. The dead they rep- 
resent actually lie beneath the passages of this court; — and off 
in one corner by itself on a stone more prominent than all the 
others, & railed off from the rest, I read this inscription : 'Here 
lies Oliver Goldsmith.' It was so unexpected that I was 
startled for an instant. I could not have been more so had 
the creator of Dr. Primrose stood before me in his own person. 
I learned that this was the Old Temple grounds, and within a 
hundred yards further on (outside the Temple limits) I came 
upon The Old Mitre Tavern site; it is quite modern now; but 
the scent of the rose hangs round it still." 

" Liverpool, September 18, '78. 
I went last night to see Irving — who is playing at the 
Alexandra Theatre here : a roomy and convenient but very 
dingy (almost dirty) place. I could only get a seat on a back 
bench, or chair, in the ist balcony — for crowded houses are 
the rule whenever the great I. appears. The play was Louis 
XI. — a most repulsive character, as you know, for an actor to 


grapple with ; and I fear the great L did not impress me with 
his treatment of it. In his frenzy — for it appears to be a 
frenzy with him, — to be realistic or Natural — he descends 
to the farceur's tricks. The peculiarity of his voice, which we 
have heard so often referred to, consists of sudden and unex- 
pected and sometimes absurd rises and falls — and I can only 
compare it to a man speaking half of a long sentence while 
drawing in his breath and letting the other half fly out while he 
expels the breath. One of his stage tricks is very effective but 
quite unworthy a great artist. He is fond, whenever the scene 
permits, of shutting down every light — leaving the stage in 
utter darkness, lit only by the solitary lamp or dull fire which 
may be in the room ; while he has directed from the prompt 
place or the flies a closely focused calcium — which shines only 
and solely upon his face and head ; so that you can only see a 
lot of spectral figures without expression moving about the 
scene — and one ghostly lighted face shining out of the dark- 
ness ; an expressive face to be sure — but after all the entirety 
of the drama disappears and a conjuror-like exhibition of a 
sphinx-head wonder takes its place. The enthusiasm was not 
great — and perhaps this is not one of the great I.'s best parts. 
I shall not give you an opinion about him till I see him again. 
So far I've only described him so you may see him as I did. 

Monday evening : before leaving London I attended the 
'first night' of Byron's new comedy of 'Conscience Money.' 
First Act: three men in love with one woman, — honorable 
party; sentimental villain; small boy of 18. Honorable man 
succeeds in getting her; small boy of 18 faints; villain says: 
'I will bide me time!' And in the midst of Honorable Man's 
joy his elder brother supposed to be dead turns up ; not to claim 
the estate, but to draw 'conscience money' (why so called 
hard to say) from his younger brother. Elder B. very dirty, & 
can't reveal himself because is under suspicion of murder years 
ago in Colonies. Honorable Man's agony because he cannot 
reveal true state of his condition to lovely bride. Second Act: 
Honorable Man taken to gambling & staying from home to 
conceal his Agony from wife ; wife at mercy of villain — who 


poisons her mind with suggestions of another woman : Friend 
of Honorable Man exposes villain ; villain exposes to wife & 
entire company the true state of Honorable Man's finances, the 
existence of his elder brother, &c. &c. Hon. Man kicks villain 
out and goes into lodgings with wife. Third Act: Hon. Man 
turns author, small boy of i8 turns up as good friend and reveals 
news that elder brother is not guilty of murder, but the villain 
is; brother enters; all happy; & all go back to Fine House. 
Curtain ! Of course like all of Byron's plays the dialogue is 
witty; and it was very warmly received by the audience. The 
Theatre was 'The Haymarket,' a good sized place of the old- 
fashioned kind, with about the finest hearing qualities I have 
yet found in the London theatres. I met some N. Y. acquaint- 
ances between the acts ; was introduced to the proprietors of 
The Era & The Figaro & received warm invitations to call on 
them; & am to be put up at the Savage Club." 

"London, 41 Jermyn Street. 

Sunday, Sept. 22, '78. 

Jim arrived quite safe on Thursday. 

Friday we gave to lodging-hunting here — and yesterday to 
moving; so that from this spot I date my London lodging ex- 
periences to you. Jermyn St. is but a few minutes' stroll from 
St. James' Park; it leads out of The Haymarket; and is be- 
tween Piccadilly & Pall Mall, which run parallel with it. It is 
a 'Lodgings' street, however, and rather quiet. I have the 
whole of the first or ground floor; a large sitting room & bed- 
room — the latter being supplied with two beds. The apart- 
ments are as cosy as though I had furnished them myself. The 
walls are absolutely reeking with 'objects of virtue & bigotry' 
and the 'brie and brats' that encumber the floor give the whole 
such an air of taste and smell from the antique that when I woke 
up this morning I really thought I was in a corner of ' Sypher's late 
Marley's' in New York. In sober earnest, however, the place 
does wear a homelike air, which is not only for that reason pref- 
erable to the bare walls and empty corners of hotel life, but the 
price is nearer my purse ; for we give but £2-2s. a week for the 


rooms and 4/ a day for breakfast — the only meal we will take 
here, as my exploring soul yearns to investigate the dining places 
of this birthplace of Roast Beef & 'Plum both.' .... 

I went last night to the Folly Theatre : a regular little Jap- 
anese glove box. It is about | the size of the old 5th Ave. the- 
atre; holds about 250 in the whole lower floor and 140 or less 
in the dress circle. The family circle is so low upon the D. C. 
that a tall man in the latter touches the ceiling with his hat. 
It is very uniquely decorated a la Japanese; has old china & 
odds & ends hung on the lobby walls & the passages, and is 
situated in the heart of the busy city. It was full, of course. 
First nights here always are — they have not lost their interest 
even after several years of poor plays, and the audience was 
quite an elegant one. The plays were poor; the first was 
an adaptation of 'La Venue,' which you read once — and for 
which I paid the French authors $600. It is a most attenu- 
ated trifle — but being well played passed off well. The bur- 
lesque of the evening in which Lydia Thompson played was the 
emptiest of empty things. . . . The stars of the night were 
simply 'local' favorites and not artists. Lionel Brough, the 
comedian of whom I have been hearing everybody talk for years, 
was simply a sort of Hardenbergh — only a trifle lighter on his 
legs, though a trifle more stolid of face. 

I called on Friday at the Era office — as per invitation, & 
saw the proprietor & editor. . . . 

. . . The deserted streets, the shut shops, the awful quiet 
which reigns over everything and everybody on the 'holy 
Sabbath' have smothered in me whatever hilarity may have 
lurked in my bosom. If these two Sundays in London are 
samples of all the others I shall hereafter depart out of this 
blessed town every Saturday night, & devote myself to sight- 
seeing in the suburbs till Monday comes to revigorate the 
town. It is a fact that everything is funereal here from 
midnight Saturday till six p.m. Sunday — when the restau- 
rants open, the taverns throw wide their doors, lights are 
lit, the crowd emerges from its hiding places, & life begins 


"41 Jermyn St., London. 

Thursday, Sept. 26, '78. 

I have taken some lovely rambles — going one day to 
Hampton Court : where I thought of the romance you once 
began in one of our boyish newspapers by that title; and one 
day I went to Westminster Abbey ; and another day to Syden- 
ham to the crystal palace. Do you think if we put up a crystal 
palace at Riverdale or Yonkers the public of our noble country 
would make hourly pilgrimages to see it.? And make it, long 
after its 'World's Fair' attractions had disappeared, a profitable 
concern? No indeed. The Palace is as large I should think 
as both the Philadelphia Exhibition buildings in one ; it is 
simply a Bowery or Sixth Avenue sort of bazaar now ; with 
stands full of cheap goods to attract the country eye. There 
are two theatres inside of it, each as large as the Grand Opera 
House ; & a concert room quite as big as Steinway Hall. We 
saw the 'Stranger' bloodlessly murdered in one; and The 
Hanlons perform in the other; besides a cheap circus out on 
the grounds. There was also an annual fruit & vegetable show 
going on in which I saw grapes & peaches and potatoes that put 
the giant fruit of California to the blush. John Turniptops and 
Molley Barleycorns were everywhere about — & the view of the 
English countryman on his tour was as good a sight as any I saw. 

The visit to Westminster was one of those excursions to 
one's grandfather's grave which it takes two or three weeks to 
get over. We got in at Afternoon Service time ; and the voices 
of the recitant and of the boy choir sounded through that im- 
mense space like the sighs of children in a wilderness. I'm 
not going to make a guide book of my letter, & so I shall not 
tell you of all that struck me ; except this, that in the chapel 
devoted to the royal family I noticed away in a corner a dia- 
mond-shaped tablet which noted the spot where Charles the 
Second lay — while above him framed in the wall was a mag- 
nificent memorial full of emblematic designs & a full length 
figure of General Monk. Indeed the finest monuments in the 
Abbey are not those of the kings and queens of the world — 


but of those who ruled in the empire of War, of Science & of 

I shall tell you of Hampton Court another day. 

My acquaintance here is beginning to enlarge. I have let- 
ters and invitations from Mrs. Wood, Wyndham, and Ledger 
of the Era — & have had calls from Farjeon and Matthison (who 
used to be in my Company at the original theatre) & who is an 
author here of some note. All are most cordial, & Wyndham, 
on whom I called, thinks I ought to stay over here." 

Mrs. John Wood, favorite of the English as well as of 
the American theatres, was heartily glad to meet her for- 
mer manager and the author of the congenial part Peach- 
blossom in "Under the Gaslight," wherein she had often 
disported. She appropriated the name for her corre- 
spondence when she did not use that of the muse which 
the American critics once bestowed upon her. Being at 
the seaside when he reached London, she telephoned from 
Doon House, Westgate, as soon as news of his arrival 
reached her, and wrote next day in her own familiar way : 

^^ , _, "Sept. 24th, Westgate. 

My dear rerson 

Nothing shall prevent my seeing you. I am in an unin- 
habited Island. Would you like to come here & be taken to 
Ramsgate, &c. .? You leave Victoria Station by Chatham & 
Dover line at 10 : 48, arriving here at one o'clock, — two hours, 
— where you would behold your Peachblossom on the plank. 
If you don't like this I'll leave here on Thursday and be at 
Gordon Square by one — where you should have been received 
en regal had I been in town. I leave here for good Oct 8th, 
and on your return from Paris I place my house at your disposal. 

Now my dear fellow, one line or a telegram to say you come 
here, or I will come to you, and there we are. I am busy here 
just now with a wary Farmer & a piece of land & tomorrow have 
some appoint's to keep or I would come. Now hurry up & be 
here by one tomorrow Wednesday to your Peachblossom." 


"Doon House. 
My dear Man 

If you should happily arrive by the one train & I am not 
on the plank, the intelligent guard will look out for a long, tall, 
thin gentleman & hand him this & describe the position of my 
mansion, of which abode you will please take instant possession, 
and in about half an hour after if my dogs leave anything of 
you you will behold some one you may remember. 

Yours until we meet and long after, 

M. Wood." 

" No. Ten Adelphi Terrace, London : Sept. 30, '78. 

No wonder Garrick lived on this Terrace. I wonder he ever 
died here — but I believe he did not end his days in the house 
near by which is marked with a slab in honor of his residence. 

I think the place will be better than medicine to me. I've 
felt my spirits rise up to the nineties since I've moved in. I'm 
in the midst of all the Theatre Clubs : the Savage : the Junior 
Garrick : & the Green Room : in all of which I have been made 
an honorary member. 

Farjeon thinks it's a splendid place for me. I accepted his 
invitation yesterday for a visit to Finchley, where he is stop- 
ping at the country place of Mr. Burgess — the head of the 
Moore & Burgess Minstrels ; Mr. B. is not a corkist himself, 
he is simply the manager — who has been so successful in his 
management that he has not closed his minstrel show (except 
on Sundays) for fourteen years. He and his wife gave me a 
hearty English welcome, & I was introduced there to Lionel 
Brough & his family, who also came to spend the day. Farjeon 
& Maggie seem to be almost at home there, and all combined 
to make the day most cheery for me. Brough is one of the 
best of the London comedians, & quite a popular man among 
the professionals. He was fifty per cent above the American 
comedian in every social way. We took a stroll during the 
day, out into the English fields, through thin green lanes, and 
among the old oaks & odd old houses. . . . Finchley is but 25 
minutes by rail from London, & yet it is a rural Paradise where 


everything is peace & calm, and not a murmur or a sign of the 
mighty city is heard or seen. Mr. & Mrs. Farjeon wanted to 
be remembered to you most particularly. 

I think I told you in my last of a visit I made to see Mrs. 
Wood : I found her in a Lodge down at Westgate on Sea about 
two miles from Margate ; a select & sedate watering place. 
She is to give me a little party at which I shall meet Frank 
Marshall & Burnand ('Happy Thoughts') & we think they 
will work with me to give Lemons & Bonanza a show. But 
even this is hereafter ; I must wait for their return to town. 
'Wait — wait!' is the only advice I hear on any side. 

I have found little or nothing worth noting except the ex- 
quisite acting of an eccentric artist at the Prince of Wales The- 
atre, named Cecil (Arthur Cecil) — I have never seen his equal, 
nor any one to approach him for effective natural acting, on any 
stage. He and Terry of the Gaiety, — whom I've seen a second 
time, & whom I find to be a most admirable actor, equally good 
in burlesque, in singing & in pure comedy, — stand above all 
of their class. 

On Saturday I attended the opening of Drury Lane Theatre, 
• — Winter's Tale was given. It is situated in a dirty narrow 
byway, is dingy & low looking outside. But within — all is 
different. Spacious rotunda & gallery ; broad vestibules ; 
roomy corridors ; grand staircases, all stone or marble, and the 
auditorium extensive in its accommodations. The house was 
crowded. The applause generous. Indeed / find the English 
audiences much more easily pleased, & really more good natured 
than our own ; at least they will endure a poor performance to 
the end with a gracefulness which our people never show — 
for they get up & go out if a thing is dull. Winter's Tale was 
not dull, but it is wearisome at times ; and neither the acting 
nor the spectacle of Saturday night aroused much enthusiasm. 
The Autolycus was the worst I ever saw. Old Ring or Whiting 
would have been better. 

Full houses are the rule here. Byron's new piece has failed 
& is to be withdrawn, but even that draws fairly. Everything 
is doing well here — & while the contrary is the story from New 


York I think I'm wise in being here idle instead of there grow- 
ing grey & haggard. . . . 

The theatres I've taken in since I last wrote you, are the 
Canterbury Music Hall over on the Surrey side, & the Grecian 
Theatre, away up to the northern limit of London. The Music 
Hall is a very showy but gaudy place ; quite as large as the 
Academy of Music ; where I heard a lot of very worn voices 
singing anything but taking music; except one young woman 
named Nelly Power who had a very much worn face, but sang 
exceedingly well & gave a bit of Irish vocalism that would have 
sent Tony Pastor's audiences wild. I saw our old friend Bar- 
toletti here, and her corsage was lower than ever — & her 
skirts if anything shorter. The Grecian is a melodramatic 
temple devoted to the gods who pay 8 cts. to go to the gallery 

— 25 cents to the balcony — 12 cents to the Pit and 38 cts. 
to the stalls. I indulged in the luxury of the stalls — and saw 
an entirely new and original drama entitled 'Sentenced to 
Death or Paid in his Own Coin!' It is by Mr. Conquest. 
Mr. Conquest is the manager of the theatre ; he is also the pro- 
prietor; he is also his own leading actor and comedian. He 
played on this occasion a villainous old file named 'Hoyley 
Snayle,' who is comic for two acts with the refrain 'I likes to 
do good when I can'; then becomes melodramatic in the third 
act & attempts a murder and puts the crime on another; then 
emerges into the tragic at the end of the play, and after having 
a struggle on a church roof with the unjustly accused man, 
makes a gymnastic leap (at which the gods nearly shook the 
theatre with delight), and finally dies confessing his guilt, to 
slow music, and (of course) uttering his almost forgotten re- 
frain, — I — a — likes — a — a — to do — a — ugh — a — good when I 

— (dies & curtain). He was a good actor of his school — or 
for any theatre; and indeed the whole company was much 
better than I hoped to see. Between the plays — there are 
always two plays equally important at the Grecian — (It was 
the 'Octoroon' that followed on this occasion, but I did not 
wait to see it) — the audience or all of it that cares to do so 
adjourns from the theatre & goes into a large open space or 


courtyard, the immense center of which is boarded over for 
dancing; the place is lit with colored lamps almost innumer- 
able; the band is in a showy balcony by themselves; there are 
shooting alleys ; & promenade walks ; bars ; refreshment rooms ; 
coffee counters — and all that the humblest heart could crave; 
including accommodating ladies, ready to waltz or to join you 
at the bar or the lunch table. The scene was very animating 
I can assure you : and probably the most novel one I've come 
across since I've been in London!" 

" Adelphi Terrace, London : October 6 '78. 

I saw Beaky the other day going to the cabinet meeting in 
Downing Street. Disraeli looks very old ; I've no doubt he 
is old; but he is bent; yellow; and weak. I simply saw him 
as he stepped from his carriage (quite a plain 'Transfer Com- 
pany' looking aifair) into the official residence of Salisbury; 
but the sight was a good one — and the little crowd that had 
assembled there to see him crowded round as though he was the 
big elephant of the show. It reminded me of a New York 
crowd watching at a hotel door to see some illustrious stranger, 
only this was a most respectable-looking well dressed crowd — 
of ladies & gentlemen. They lifted their hats & waved their 
handkerchiefs as he passed from carriage to house — but did 
not cheer. 

I have had altogether a busy and delightful week of rambling 
from Regent's Park to the Isle of Dogs, and I've absorbed the 
sights of the Thames from Greenwich to Richmond. I went 
to Greenwich for Whitebait, but found the season was over. 
Not even my national appeal to the landlord of the Crown & 
Sceptre that I had come all the way from America to try his 
Whitebait could procure me even a midget. I had heard that 
they served them up in 21 different styles at Greenwich, and 
got up a most gorgeous sort of appetite so as to take in the 
entire 21 styles — and had to take boiled cod. 

I fared somewhat better at Richmond : I had gone up in 
the train to Kew; had roamed round the squatty little village, 
and rambled through the old Park and palace walks. I was 


hunting for the Star and Garter Inn on Richmond Hill, famous 
for its Maids of Honor, but my antiquarian soul was smothered 
in disgust on finding that the original hostelry had been burnt 
down & in its place had risen one of the finest modern hotels 
in the country about London. I turned from that at once & 
sought a less pretending Inn over the door of which a sign in- 
formed all passers-by that his royal highness the Prince of 
Wales had honored it with his custom. ... I took my first 
taste of them there; and paid for them in the unkindest five 
hours of dyspepsia I've had since I arrived in England. It was 
a very old Maid of Honor who served me, and as they were 
cheap, (a penny each) I ordered half a dozen & ate them all. 
I want no more. — Do you require to be told that they are an 
indigestible but fascinating pastry : with a drop of lemon and 
cocoanut custard in the center.^ 

One day of the week I went to Rochester and Gadshill. Ram- 
bled through the ancient castle ruins, with its walls twenty feet 
thick in places - — ■ now the home of a thousand tame pigeons — 
and groped with the sexton of the old Cathedral Church through 
the crypt where Edwin Drood was spirited away — and then 
along rural English lanes I sought the home of Dickens, the 
hill where Falstafi^ and Prince Henry larked, and where one 
can almost fancy Shakespere himself rambled ; and satisfied my 
thirsty throat at the old inn nearby full of Dickens mementos 
— and where the author of David Copperfield rested himself 
many a time on his way home." 

" Monday, Oct 7th. 
My evenings have been all occupied with the plays, but 
none of them worth a letter. Three failures since I have been 
here ; Byron's comedy at the Haymarket, Famie's burlesque 
at the Folly; and a piece at the Gaiety called 'The Lady of 
Lyons Married & Settled.' Claude is henpecked & in love 
with Pauline's laundress. Beauseant reveals Claude's perfidy 
to Pauline, and P. follows C & the washerwoman to his mother's 
old cottage, where the stuff is stopped by the green curtain com- 
ing down. 


I was invited to a dinner at the Junior Garrick Club Satur- 
day evening & introduced to quite a number of the old actors 
& new journalists. Their reception was most cordial, and 
health & success was drunk to me. I think some good results 
will grow out of the meetings there — for already I have any 
number of invitations to examine some of the principal the- 
atres behind the curtain ; & everything that brings me nearer 
the footlights will bring me I believe nearer the public. I was 
carried off from the dinner by George Conquest, who is one of 
the richest managers & best actors in England — I wrote you 
about his theatre. He took me all over it on Saturday — pref- 
acing his kindness by suggesting that he owed me some atten- 
tion in return for being one of the English robbers who had 
despoiled me of my railroad scene, and one of the hundreds 
who had played my Gaslight. . . ." 

"Adelphi Terrace, Oct. loth, 1878. 
I feel that I have a delicate path to tread among the authors 
and managers of London ; and they are all doing more or less 
well. It is not here as with us; a play with us is made or 
damned the first night; in London a first night's failure can 
be built up by patience & perseverance to run a year; which is 
better for the actor, the author & the manager than our unfair 
'no redemption policy.' Still, two produced here — & well 
received on the opening night — are condemned & withdrawn. 
One is the burlesque at the Folly, produced by Lydia Thomp- 
son, & the other is Byron's comedy at the Haymarket. Clarke 
is playing the Rivals & will produce in a few weeks Les Four- 
chambaults, which Albery has written up, & in which Mrs. 
Wood will probably play the principal female part. At Drury 
Lane Phelps the tragedian is to follow with Winter's Tale till 
Christmas, & then they give the Pantomime. At the Adelphi 
the Celebrated Case is running to fair houses. At the Cri- 
terion Pink Dominoes has passed its 500th night & they look 
for 250 more. Our Boys was played the 1200th time Satur- 
day last & is booked for the 2000th. 'Pinafore,' a clever 
(satirical) opera comique will probably be played for 3 months 
longer at the Comique, &c. &c. &c. 


A dozen plays are ready at each of the dozen successful the- 
atres when their present 'runs' are out — and a dozen native 
authors stand ready with more if these give out. 

Wilkie Collins is not in town — but I have written him & 
I suppose shall hear from him in time : Mrs. Wood promises 
me an introduction to Charles Reade — though Reade will be 
of no service to me, as he is stage-struck about his own plays 
just now. 

I have an invitation through Mrs. Wood from Labouchere, 
a theatrical and literary power here, to visit him at his villa 
(formerly Alexander Pope's) at Twickenham. I am to go Sun- 
day. Something may lead from this. He is the lessee of one 
of the closed theatres here : The Queen's ; the other (the St. 
James) is owned by Lord Newry — to whom I am also shortly 
to be introduced — when he gets back from shooting. They 
are both good theatres — but are considered bad property — 
perhaps badly managed. Farjeon thinks the Queen's worth 
trying. It is in a fair locality I think — On Long Acre, just 
facing Covent Garden theatre, within one square of Drury 
Lane, only two or three blocks from the Lyceum. I think I 
should like to give the London Public a taste of my quality 
from that standpoint." 

" 10 Adelphi Terrace, London, Monday, Oct. 14. 

Old (English) Probabilities has been prognosticating a storm 
for this tight little island for a week past, but young Actualities 
has fought it off — and today and yesterday have been as like 
our lovely Indian summer as a pair of twins. Most people 
here say I must have brought the stock of American weather 
which they have been enjoying ever since my arrival, over in 
my valise — and let it loose as soon as I got in sight of land. 
At least so they said at the Savage Club the other day (Sat- 
urday) where I was invited to their inaugural dinner of the 
season. I met the manager of Drury Lane there and have 
been invited to a sociable dinner some day this week, and 
afterwards am to be introduced to the stage of Old Drury. I 
need not tell you we mingled our tears together over remi- 


niscences of Shakesperian failure and 'loss' — for his revival 
of the 'Winter's Tale' is not making him any money. In- 
deed as I get at the under facts here I find that only the im- 
mense sixpenny theatres of the south and east end of ^London, 
or the very small comedy theatres — where the stalls are 10/- 
and the dress circle 8/- and 7/- are really footing up any- 
thing on the profit side. I went to the 'Standard' after 
the dinner Saturday — nearly a two mile drive, at the east 
end, and found it to be one of the finest theatres in the metrop- 
olis. It is fully as large a place as our Academy ; has four 
tiers and an acre of space called the pit. They were playing 
an English adaptation of the French version of the American 
Uncle Tom, in which Eva is restored to life and Tom does not 
die. The inventive Frenchman has also created a mate for 
Topsy in the character of a fancy darkey named Julius — and 
the two dancefbreakdowns together, and sing comic duets 
and talk comic trash in a mixture of Cockney Irish and Scotch, 
which the innocent (or rather guilty) actors imagine is a good 
imitation of the genuine canebrake lingo. Five of the London 
theatres are playing 'Uncle Tom' now, but no one place is 
hurting the other. When I remarked to the manager of the 
Princess' Theatre the other evening that the opposition must 
affect him he said that there was no such thing as opposition in 
London; that each place had its own special attendance; and 
it seems so. 

Yesterday I spent the day and night at the villa of Mr. 
Henry Labouchere at Twickenham; where I was 'right roy- 
ally' welcomed and entertained by Mr. L and his wife — (for- 
merly Henrietta Hodson, a comedy lady here). Mrs. Wood 
also came down during the day; and what with boating on 
the Thames, strolling through the grounds, dining, supping and 
talking, I think I spent one of my most enjoyable days in 
England, thus far. Labouchere is the editor of Truth, & part 
owner of the Daily News, the daily paper Dickens started. 
He is lessee of The Queen's Theatre, which like the 5th Avenue 
has had its successes & its failures — & is now closed. And 
he is a thorough man of the world. He was full and free in 


his information upon every topic most interesting to me, and 
I think the day most profitably as well as pleasantly spent which 
I gave to Twickenham. . . . His wife & Mrs. Wood suggested 
that The Olympic is the place I ought to be 'in' . . . Lord 
Londesborough, with whom he is intimate, I believe ... is at 
the back of the Olympic management. I ought to tell you 
that the villa is built on the grounds once owned by Pope, and 
is erected on the very site of Pope's villa. The place was cut 
up into residential and garden lots many years ago, & this 
especial portion contains the only remaining relic of the Past — 
the queer little grotto & arched passage built under the road- 
way, & which he used to pass through in going from his house 
to the river which washes the grassy bank ten yards from its 
entrance. This morning before breakfast & before any of the 
rest were up I strolled out into the lanes & shaded roads as far 
as Teddington & Kingston, passing Horace Walpole's mag- 
nificent home & park on Strawberry Hill, and coming back 
along the path by the Thames. But I shall not extend my 
rhapsodies. What I've written must make you wish to be with 
me as I — a hundred times every week — do say to myself 
'Oh! if Joe were only here!' I wonder if you would tire of 
the long walks I take. My legs never seem to give out — and 
I know I shall soon be as familiar with every London locality 
and many of these memorable suburban spots as the oldest 

Before I was suffered to return to town yesterday Mrs. Wood 
& Mrs. Labouchere took me to see The Queen's Laundry. . . . 
If I had but the pen of a Willis or a Gath what a spicy letter I 
could have sent 'from our special correspondent' about this 
royal laundry and the items I picked up there. Damask table 
cloths worked by hand worth 125 guineas each, and linen 
sheets finer and softer than gossamer muslin, and pillow cover- 
ings in use since 1800 & yet almost as good as new, are but a 
poor 'showing' of what I stored away in 'me 'ed' for future 
use. . . . 

Business here (I mean commercial houses) have been having 
a shaky time for a fortnight, ever since the Glasgow Bank 


failed for its little £8,000,000 (forty million dollars). I tell 
you I could see the blue in the faces of the anxious and hurry- 
ing crowds down Lombard and Broad and Threadneedle 
Streets ; and the very columns of the Royal Exchange shook 
with the shivers which its members had for a few days." 

"Adelphi Terrace, Oct. 18, '78. 

I had a pleasant call from Robert Stoepel yesterday and we 
dined together. He has just left Bijou in Paris at a convent 
school. . . . Mrs. Bateman gave up the Lyceum Theatre, & 
Irving has taken it. He is to open it in December with Shak- 
sperian revival, & with a 'star' company. They say he has 
wealthy backers. Bateman spent his profits ... & left 
very little when he died. 

The weather is changing here : Fog all day yesterday — & 
colder breezes today. It is still pleasant for walking, however, 
and I don't give up my prowlings into the byways & highways 
for a little thing like fog or cold. . , . 

I told you, I believe, that I called on Wilkie Collins, but 
the interview was short though pleasant. He is not in town for 
'good' yet, & when he returns we are to dine & have a long 
chat. There was just a hint that we might do a play together." 

"Adelphi Terrace, Monday, Oct. 21, '78. 

The London fogs are on their way. We have had two days 
of them since I wrote you — and queer sorts of days they were : 

the streets and houses filled with a smoky kind of mist 

through which once in a while (say for two or three minutes — 
two or three times a day) the sun broke, and when it did sent 
down a drizzle of rain. There is no doubt about the depress- 
ing effect of fog, and London fog especially ; and yet they say 
I haven't seen the choicest quality of that article yet; I be- 
lieve they set in about November, — come in with Guy Fawkes 
and the Lord Mayor's Day ! 

Had I seen Stoepel when I wrote you last ? I expect to 
meet several of the London authors with him during the present 


week, and Irving especially when he comes to town. Stoepel 
took me Saturday night to see Coleman, the manager of the 
Olympic (who represents Lord Londesborough, the real lessee), 
and I was received most warmly and taken back on the stage 
to meet Neville, the stage manager & star of the theatre. My 
reception was extremely cordial, & I spent an hour with Neville 
in his room — which is most charmingly fitted up. We talked 
of both countries. . . . He is to take me to the great Gar- 
rick Club, the club founded by Garrick, & the favorite of Dickens 
& Thackeray. Neville acted very well on Saturday. . . . He 
will scarcely make a furor with us however in such parts as the 
cripple in The Two Orphans. He is more than an actor, though, 
he is a most excellent artist, & several of his water-color sketches 
adorn his walls. The theatre was crowded ; but crowded 
theatres here don't mean what they do with us — for the cir- 
cles are shallow, & there is so much pit & gallery in all of them ; 
here for instance was a theatre quite as large as the Union 
Square, & though full Saturday I was told it footed up only 
£130, not $700 — Drury Lane I believe holds but £400 — 
(not $2000). 

Yesterday I took one of my longest walks . . . Stoepel and 
I footed it together; we went out to Hampstead Heath — the 
old footpad ground, you know, a lovely country of hill and 
dale, quite as dangerous now I should think as ever it was by 
night, for there are long stretches of pathway on the hilltop & 
the hillside unlighted by a single glimmer, and in fog and dark- 
ness the road agents ought to have an easy shop there. We 
came across a gentleman accompanied by two link boys with 
lighted torches to guide him through the mist & the night — 
for seven o'clock found us just on our turn homwards, taking the 
road through Highgate — where we passed Whittington's stone. 

I saw a charming entertainment here on Saturday; it is 
given by five or six people in a little hall — and is called Mr. & 
Mrs. German Reed's At Home. Two plays are performed, 
and between them a monologue by a gentleman named Air. 
Corney Grain — who also takes the principal parts in the main 
piece of the programme. The performance is comedy and 


music mixed. The dialogue charming (it is principally by Bur- 
nand, who wrote Happy Thoughts) and the songs and duets very 
catchy. The chief art & the chief charm is in the ability of 
the actors to play two or more parts in the same piece ; thus in 
the opening play, which is called 'Doubleday's Will', there 
are seven characters and only four actors. Grain is the best 
of the lot. He'd be a furor in New York. He is handsome, 
easy & has a splendid voice. He plays an old man or a young 
one with equal ease & totally distinct. He would be worth 
his weight in gold if I got the little theatre back again." 

" 10 Adelphi Terrace, Sunday, Oct. 22, '78. 

Your news of the New York Theatres is certainly not ex- 
hilarating. Business is considered bad here, but then expenses 
vary here from £45 to £75 per night for the regular season, 
so that a $400 house leaves a profit. Drury Lane is less prof- 
itable. It is the Booth's Theatre of London ; only big things 
will go there. The Haymarket is another fine property — 
but it is mismanaged. Besides, they take about a lifetime to 
prepare a new piece here. 'Fourchambault,' which was to have 
been ready a week ago, will not be finished till this day week. 

There is no one thing being done here which would make 
any impression in N. Y. The operetta of Pinafore is not big 
enough for an all night programme, & that is the only piece 
that would make a go. I think it would be a greater success 
than Evangeline. 

I believe thoroughly in the comedy vaudeville style of en- 
tertainment; occasionally varied with the old comedy or the 
modern emotional pieces such as the Gaiety Theatre, the Hay- 
market, or even the vaudeville give here. But above all the 
theatre ought to be a little gem of a place. Not an inch larger 
than the old 5th Ave., & even ten feet ought to be spared from 
the auditorium of that for an elegant drawing-room sort of lobby. 
Some of the vestibules of the theatres here are parlors. Nothing 
that I ever did equalled them — so you see luxury pays. For 
these luxurious places are the ones which are crowded nightly." 


" Adelphi Terrace, London, Oct. 29th. 

I am led to expect (through Stoepel) a willing and certainly 
a valuable coUaborateur in Wills, who wrote Olivia, Charles 
1st, Jane Shore, &c. — & to him I shall suggest Yorick, as ex- 
actly suited to Irving, with whom Wills is on intimate terms. 
Wills however is yet in Paris — on his holiday. 

There is this one golden thing to say of the English public 
which goes to theatres : It may take a long time to make your 
way to their liking, but once get it & it never deserts you — 
not even in old age. 

Sometimes I think it would pay in the end to make up my 
mind to risk a year of waiting & watching for my chance here, 
for I feel if I once get it I will get a hold soon after. 

I have made one or two visits to the Courts (The Criminal 
Courts) this week ; and saw three trials at Old Bailey & two at 
Westminster Police Court. At the Old Bailey I saw Lord Jus- 
tice Brett try two serious causes, and in the new Court saw 
Mr. Justice Hawkins try a sort of robbery case — in which the 
defence was conspiracy. All the Court rooms were about the 
size of your 'Chambers' — and nothing like so ornamental. 
A long close railing on one side running the whole length of the 
wall marks the Judges' platform, with a long cushioned bench 
behind it on which they sit. On this platform are six or eight 
small desks ; behind each desk is a cushion to protect the ju- 
dicial back from the cold wall. The prisoners' box faces the 
judges' stand on the opposite side of the room — the jury is 
on the right of the judges in a box; & the reporters & special 
visitors on the left, also in a box. There is a gallery over the 
prisoners' box for the public at large. In the court where Lord 
Brett presided the sword of justice is fixed in an upright position 
against the wall ; and on the bench in front of it one of the 
sheriffs of the City always sits in robes & gold chain — with 
full court suit underneath ; but no wig. The judges of course 
are wigged — but they do not always remember their dignity, 
for I saw the Lord Justice tip his wig over his eye as he scratched 
the back of one ear with his pen. The trials proceed much 


the same as with us — only I heard more noisy wrangling be- 
tween counsel, which was unheeded by the judge, than in our 
own Courts. Douglas Straight, Digby Seymour and Mon- 
tague Williams were three of the ablest barristers whom I 
heard. The first is as pure a light comedian as ever walked the 
stage. He was engaged in defence of a boy of 17 or 18 who 
was on trial for the murder of a sweep. The sweep was proven 
to have been a stalwart, drunken quarrelsome fellow & to have 
attacked the lad first ; the main point of the defence was to 
ask the jury to decide whether they thought from the evidence 
that the death of the sweep was caused by a fall or a blow. 
Straight trod very dangerous ground certainly when he rattled 
off' his argument in light terms ; but he succeeded certainly in 
getting his suggestions endorsed by the judge in his charge to 
the jury — & the boy was acquitted. One charming feature of 
the judiciary here — so far as I have been witness — is the 
most thorough review of the law first, the case next, the evidence 
next — & the counsel's argument last; and the juryman who 
cannot read his verdict as plain as A. B.C. after any of the 
charges I have heard so far is a 'Hass ' 1" 

After the first pleasant visit to Pope's Villa came an 
invitation to luncheon there, and afterwards at Mrs. 
Wood's : 

"Pope's Villa, Twickenham. 
My dear old friend 

II : 15 from Waterloo Station, W. Road by the above train, 
loop line, will bring you to your Lost Hostess and Peachblos- 
som at five minutes to twelve. A fly, price one shilling, in five 
minutes will land you at this blissful abode. Next train is 
after one — too late for lunch. 

Yours muchly 



"Oct 17, 

23 Gordon Square, W. C. 
My dear Man 

I have arrived in town for the season ; will you come to- 
morrow, Friday, to luncheon at half past one. Mrs. Labouchere 
will be here, and then you can say if you will be disengaged for 
luncheon on Sunday two o'clock with Mrs. Major Rolls, Helen 
Barry. If you can't come tomorrow send me word so I can 
write to Helen, and come to me in the evening. 

As ever yours 



Authors' fees to beginners beggarly. Dinner with Olive Logan. 
The Lord Mayor's show : Guy Fawkes' Day. Comments upon 
American theatrical prospects. Rumors about Daly and the 
Surrey or Sadler's Wells theatre have to be contradicted. Charles 
Reade contrasted with Wilkie Collins. Palgrave Simpson. 
Authors and profits. Cellar life in London. The Italians of 
Saffron Hill and the "Thieves' Kitchen." Ballad concerts and 
Sims Reeves (inaudible). Santley and Mrs. Sterling. Wills, 
painter and playwright. Thanksgiving dinner. English cook's 
unfortunate attempt at pumpkin pie. "Lemons" accepted by 
Wyndham for the Criterion. Robert Emmet's career the theme 
of a play for Irving. A haughty playwright. Cabbies. Christ- 
mas not merry in London streets. Hosts of unemployed. Din- 
ner with Mrs. Wood. A Christmas toast. Boxing Day. New 
pantomimes. An English audience. Drury Lane. How "Pina- 
fore" was brought to New York. The New Year in London. 
Agnes Ethel. An opening in London. Supper at the Green Room 
Club with Henry Irving in the chair. His courtesy. Gooch of 
the Princess. Trip to Paris with Stoepel. The Channel passage. 
"Revue" at the Eldorado cafe. "L'Assommoir." Masked ball 
at Frascati's. Helene Stoepel. A visit to Rome. Story to read 
a comedy. Back in London. Unexpected failure of Chatterton 
at Drury Lane. Disappointment. Daly turns his thoughts 
homeward. Proposal to Henry Irving for a visit to America with 
Miss Ellen Terry. About five years too soon. Irving dares too 
much in Claude Melnotte. Sale of the first Daly library. 

" November 4th. 

10 Adelphi Terrace, Strand, W.C. 

Until you make your way here the prices paid authors is 
beggarly. 40/- or $10 is I believe considered handsome re- 
muneration. I will not be able to ride in a gilded coach on 
any such royalty as that ! However, no one ever grows rich 
or great suddenly in this country : everything reaches its 



height by natural steps, and by doing so finds a firmer position 
has been secured in the end. 

I was introduced to Captain Shaw the Chief of the Scotland 
Yard force one day, and I expect to make a visit with him some 
evening to the cellar haunts of the Great City. This Shaw is 
the 'Inspector Shaw' with whom Dickens used to make his 
rounds. I am surprising the oldest Londoners in fact by the 
thoroughness or rather the extensiveness of my investigations 

" Sunday, Nov. lo, '78. 

10 Adelphi Terrace, Strand, W. C. 

I met Olive Logan a few days since & we have had a dinner 
or two together combined with several chats. She thinks I am 
getting on faster than any American ever did before — even 
to have been received by the managers, and talked with 
them. . . . 

Yesterday being Lord Mayor's Day & the Prince of Wales' 
birthday was big with festivities indoors & out. The proces- 
sion of all the old Lord Mayors, & the new one, was a mild af- 
fair, but the streets were jammed with people to see it. The 
banners of the various guilds, and the very theatrical -looking 
cinderella-like gold coach in which the new Lord Mayor rode 
were the only 'pretty' things in the show. I invited Mrs. 
Wood & her daughter, ... a clever and pretty child, and La- 
bouchere & his wife & Stoepel to see the sight from my window, 
which is one of the best in London to see such things from. 
We had a very jolly afternoon ; Stoepel played lots of music ; 
little Florence & Mrs. Labouchere made up & performed im- 
promptu charades, & it was almost dark when they went 
away. In the evening I sauntered through the streets, which 
were brilliantly illuminated with all sorts of designs in gas work 
— and mingled with a thoroughly English crowd for some 
hours. Such Fun! Along Regent St. & the Haymarket the 
crowds were densest; at every dozen steps urchins were selling 
at a penny each an article they called 'Ladies' Tormentors': 
a small zinc tube filled with water which spurted at a pressure 


of the finger from a small hole in the top ! Such Fun ! These 
were bought by the hundred by the bands of fast young 
fellows who howled & hounded the unfortunates of the other 
sex along the sidewalks — squirting the fluid from these tor- 
mentors into their ears or eyes or down their necks. Such Fun ! 
Then if this liberty was resented by any of the women or their 
companions they were surrounded by the band, tusselled, 
hugged, and jeered at to the amusement of fifty or a hundred 
more who immediately gathered round. Such Fun ! Many 
a poor girl whom honest work or necessitous duty forced 
into the streets, I saw run screaming across the streets 
from an attack, to the amusement of the mob. Such Fun ! 
From nine till twelve these scenes went on, and I don't 
know how much longer, — but I retired from the mob at 
midnight quite satisfied that none of us know at home what a 
mob really is. 

The worst 'boy' in London, I should judge, after my ex- 
periences in the streets & in the Courts so far, is the idle hulking 
brute of forty, who, after enjoying a malignity of pleasure which 
nothing but his debased nature and his years combined could 
invent — comes into court and says 'It was only for a bit of a 
lark, yer know, yer honor ! ' So far I have been entirely charmed 
with the judicial treatment of criminals here. Mercy never 
seemed so just, nor justice so penetrating as in the temperate 
decisions which I have heard from the London judges in the 
Police Courts and at Old Bailey. But mercy does seem mis- 
placed when it lets a devil off with a 5/- fine who 'out of 
a lark' might have set fire to dwellings & destroyed life. The 
'Guys' of the day-time were very amusing. Mostly they 
were stuffed figures with faces representing either the Pope or 
Shere AH, or Guy himself — & were escorted round the streets 
by bands of little boys, who beat drums, sang a verse to at- 
tract attention, & then went round to collect pennies for their 
show. In the evening they make a bonfire of their guys & 
of all stray barrels or boards they can seize. In one instance 
the crowd of urchins, too poor to stuflt a figure, had persuaded 
one of their own number to be their guy, & they had smeared 


his face & put a paper hat on his head, mounted him on a chair 
& paraded him through their quarter, which was up Seven Dials 

"Monday, Nov. ii, '78. 10 Adelphi Terrace, 

Strand, W.C. 

Your news of the hard season rather sets me up in my own 
conceit of judgment as to how things were going to turn out in 
theatricals this year. 

Had I felt any great confidence I should never have given up 
the Broadway. But I am sure no money can be made, & no 
improvement will be noticeable in the American theatres till 
after January ist. 

I believe that devilish rumor about the Surrey or Sadlers 
Wells which was originated in New York has shut me out of 
the confidence of some of the managers here. I could not ac- 
count for some peculiarities I met with in one or two quar- 
ters until within this day or two I learned that the rumor had 
been extensively copied in England & was generally believed ; 
principally because Mrs. Bateman has not been in London 
for a month or six weeks & no denial was given. 

I have written tonight to the Era, & by Saturday I shall 
have the thing exploded in the clubs & theaters. 

The scoundrels did not do me harm enough with their lies 
when I was at home, but must follow me here. For of course 
my design was to become acquainted & make friends with all 
the managers here — & if they supposed I was about to enter 
the field in rivalry they would none of them be nice to me. . . . 

I met Charles Reade at the theatre one night last week. 
I attended with Mrs. Wood & we called on him in his box be- 
tween the acts. The play was very trashy and he was very 
soreheaded & so he was not cordial. I think too he must have 
been chafing just then under the lash of that letter wh. you 
send me from the Post. At any rate I consider him a very 
surly old gentleman, or perhaps if I call him an old maid it 
will be more like, for he left the box for home shortly after I 
entered, on the plea that he wanted his cup of tea, & was going 


home for it. . . . His bearing was decidedly a contrast to dear 
gentle Wilkie Collins'." 

" Friday, Nov. 22, '78. 

10 Adelphi Terrace, Strand, W.C. 

Truly did you prophecy, my dear brother, when you said that 
'Good luck would come as cometh the brick pile on the head 
of him that passeth by.' 

There is just a chance also that not one brick alone — but 
many — may fall. I had a call from Wyndham yesterday even- 
ing on the subject of Divorce. His offer is not a very good one, 
but still it may lead to better. I had a very cosy chat with 
Palgrave Simpson on Tuesday last, when I called on him at 
Kensington. He wrote 'Second Love,' you may remember, a 
charming comedy acted some years ago by Laura Keene, and 
was part author of 'AH for Her' — which Wallack played. 
He is 71 years old and looks no more than fifty. From him I 
learn that Byron only gets £3 a night for 'Our Boys' — and 
that £4 a night is looked upon as big pay. Andrew Halliday 
who wrote Amy Robsart & lots of successes for Drury Lane 
only got the pay I'm to receive. The profit here is in the long 
runs you get out of your plays — and the number of plays you 
may have running at once. Besides, a failure of one play doesn't 
kill an author here ; the people give him trial after trial in the 
most generous expectation that he may redeem himself. To 
return to Wyndham : . . . He offers £2 per night for Di- 
vorce and we are hem, hemming, on the terms. 

Last evening I had a most interesting exploration of the 
cellar life of London with Inspector Howe from Scotland Yard. 
I went among the Italians in Saffron Hill and Leather Lane 
and among the small thieves' lodgings in Fulford's Rents. The 
former were the most miserable and the most filthy ; crowded 
& foul ; a colony of organ grinders and penny ice-cream vendors ; 
and the latter the oddest & most dramatic. The thieves' 
kitchen in Fulford's Rents (a narrow cul-de-sac leading off Oxford 
Street) is a scene fit for a play — and if I do Flash of Lightning 
here that will be my location for the Jacob Ladder scene. 


The night before I went to St. James Hall to hear one of 
the English ballad concerts — most fashionably attended — 
and had the pleasure of seeing Sims Reeves ; I heard Santley, 
Madame Antoinetta Sterling (who was the great favorite & 
success of the evening) Madame Lemmens Sherrington, & 
other favorites ; but we could do very little more than see 
Sims Reeves, though he did make a pretence of singing. The 
pianist played 'My Pretty Jane' & 'Come into the Carding, 
Maud,' and the well-preserved old chap moved his lips in 
unison with the notes — but though I sat on the fourth row 
only, my ears drank in no sound but melodious whispers." 

"Adelphi Terrace, Sunday, Dec. 7. 

Since I wrote you last I've had an interview with Wills, who 
wrote Olivia & Charles ist, & some other good plays. He is 
painter as well as writer. Equally good in either line. I 
want to get him to do Yorick with me for Irving — & he is 
very ready I think to do it. We are to dine (ist step in all 
grades of English diplomacy) in a week to go over the matter 
in detail. 

Last night I attended the first night of Albery & Hatton's 
new drama at the Princess Theatre. It is called 'No. 20; or 
the Bastile of Calvados.' It is an absurd piece. There was 
much laughter at the serious points and none whatever at the 
comic speeches. 

Thursday was Thanksgiving day with you, wasn't it? 
I tried to get up a little one here with the help of Olive Logan, 
Stoepel & one or two others, but as I had laid great stress on 
the 'Punkin' Pie of the feast, & the cook hadn't quite got all 
the points of that dish, I had my pumpkin served up in chunks, 
stewed in a meat-pie pan without eggs or sweetening — and 
my feast was a failure. We drank to you all at home. . . ." 

" Sunday, Dec. 8, '78. 

10 Adelphi Terrace, Strand, W.C. 

'Lemons' after all will be my opening play here. It is 
to be produced on the 28th of December — at the Criterion 


Theatre; where 'The Pink Dominos' is now running and 
Hearing its 530th performance; where ' Proces Feauradieux' 
was played nearly 200 times, and where 'Saratoga' had a long 
run under the title of 'Brighton.' Wyndham is the manager 
& he is to play Jack Penryn. The piece goes into rehearsal 
Wednesday; I have been busy the last four days going over it 
to take out certain Americanisms & make some alterations 
(slight) which Wyndham suggested. Wyndham first offered 
£200 for it outright; but I have got him to allow me £i a 
night every time it is played in or out of London. In the long 
run — if the piece has any success at all — this will be most 
satisfactory. Perhaps the purity of the play may be its greatest 
drawback — for its predecessors have been all 'off color.' 
And then again in the present outcry here about the immoral 
French drama, & the Lord Chancello'rs refusal to grant licenses, 
& also out of its simple contrast to the looser plays, ' Lemons ' 
may strike popular fancy." 

"Monday, Deer. 16. 

At last I have had a taste of 'London Fog' — and such a 
fog ! The air seems filled with a thick immovable mass like 
the smoke of a locomotive. You can but dimly see the houses 
across the street, and nothing a square away is visible — 
scarcely even the gas lamps, which have been lighted ever 
since ten o'clock in the morning. The vapor was so dense at 
noon that it seemed almost like a rainfall. The house seemed 
unendurable — and when I went into the streets they were 
scarcely navigable. The cabbies lit their lamps, street vendors 
produced their blazing torches, many passengers carried lan- 
terns & the sight altogether was truly novel. It will seem as 
though we had a night thirty-six hours long. 

Yesterday I was taken by Mrs. Wood for a call on Frank 
Marshall. I had a very pleasant afternoon. . . . He spoke 
of collaboration, and by and by we may work together. He 
seems to be an eccentric party however — a moth collector in 
his odd moments, and dramatist by fits & starts. He is at 
work now on a play for Irving — on the subject of Robert 


Emmet; but managers & authors both are queer fish in this 
country. The Criterion for instance is a specimen. They 
have played Pink Dominos for 560 nights; and when it comes 
time to change ... no play ready. Henderson wanted to 
try 'Lemons,' & I rehearsed it two days — then found it was 
badly cast, & would be a certain failure — so I withdrew it 
(without any quarrel of course !) and this has funked them, so 
they close the theatre on Saturday night." 

" Christmas Eve. 

I move today or tomorrow from this delightful but rather 
too expensive place — to No. 9 Vere Street, near Oxford & near 
Cavendish Square. Round the corner in Holies Street is the 
house in which Byron was born — & only a little way off is 
Wilkie Collins' house & Trollope's. I think the place is more 
home-like & is to cost me 3I guineas a week — i.e. about $17.50 
for lodging, food, fire & light. 

Sunday I had Wills the dramatist to dine with me off a pair 
of my oysters & a few dozen of duck. The party included 
Stoepel & Olive Logan & was much fun. Willis retaliates & 
invites me to dine with him at the Garrick next week." 

"Christmas, 1878. London. 

I was introduced to Gilbert ... at Drury Lane last night 
during the Pantomime rehearsal. . . . He is undoubtedly the 
super-strained essence of conceit now going upon stilts. However, 
I can spare his acquaintance. I believe he contemplates a visit 
to N.Y. in March if his 'Gretchen' is a success here. . . . 

I could not get a cab to take me to Chatterton's house 
(some 3 miles off) today where I was to dine — for it was slip- 
pery & snowy & they would not go any great distance. You 
have no idea in fact of the sauciness & independence of the cab- 
men here on the least show of bad weather, of fog, or at night. 
They won't stop for you or come at your call unless your ap- 
pearance suits them — & when one reads column after column 
in the papers here of the starving thousands patrolling the streets 
of the interior towns, when 40,000 paupers are fed daily at the 


almshouses & 50,000 more at the soup kitchens, I gaze in speech- 
less wonder at the indifference of the London hansom drivers 
to a 50 cent fare. 

No one would know England as the home of King Xmas if 
he judged it from the sights of London. I fear indeed that the 
day as a day of jubilee is a myth of the story tellers & the pic- 
ture papers. At least the London streets were never so de- 
serted even on Sunday as they are this day. Occasionally a 
few cracked voices droning out a Christmas carol & sounding 
through the otherwise empty roads recalled the waits of which 
I've read — and a little band of urchins tooting broken horns 
made the morning noisy — but it was far from a lively noise 
in either case. Not a shop is opened — not a shutter down. 
Many of the theatres have been closed since Saturday last. 
All of them are shut today & tonight. Not even a concert is 
given. In fact if Christmas is kept in London at all it is kept 
with bolted doors, I have walked through a hundred streets 

— this night — and not a sound of laughter could I hear through 
the tight-shut shutters — so if it is kept jollily it must be in 
jolly little whispers. I suppose the festival is best known as a 
festival in country parts — but sad country parts are they this 
Christmas ; where hunger and misery make anything but lively 
figures for a Sir Roger de Coverly — and gaunt starvation would 
rather gnaw the berries of the mistletoe than waste the bush 
for arboring Christmas lovers. They tell me — those who know 

— and the papers are full of the story too, that England has 
not known such distress for forty years. The Yokes tell me 
they were playing in Bolton recently & the gangs of unemployed 
men & women who prowled the streets were becoming a terror. 
No carriage escaped pelting, and people who could afford it 
were even afraid to ride in a hired hack. 

I spent a couple of hours with Mrs. Wood, & had a taste of 
her plum pudding; & then made a call on Stoepel ; & the rest 
of my Xmas I have spent here. The theatres do not re-open 
till tomorrow evening (Boxing Day). Last night I made 
myself a little eggnogg and drank poor old Uncle's toast to the 
absent hearts. " 


" 9 Vere Street. 

Sunday, Dec. 29, '78. 

For the past three evenings I have been renewing my 'child- 
ish' days — and going to the pantomime, at Drury Lane, 
Covent Garden and the Alhambra — but by all odds the most 
magnificent and novel was at Covent Garden. It is as inter- 
esting and much more novel than anything seen in Humpty 
Dumpty — always excepting Fox ! Alas ! they have no such 
man here; their very cleverest man is only a sort of circus 
clown who prides himself much more on his ability to do 
'stunts' than on his comic powers. 

I told you how dull on the outside Christmas Day was here ! 
But I ought to say lest I forget it that the day after Christmas, 
which is called Boxing Day, London (at least) uncovers itself. 
The shops are still closed, but the streets are full again ; matinees 
are given at most of the theatres ; & in the evening all the new 
pantomimes burst forth upon jammed houses. The weather, 
which had been cold & snowy, began to thaw that day — & has 
kept on, till today 'tis as mild as one of our early spring morn- 
ings. So nothing kept the people home Boxing Night — and 
it was a spectacle of itself to see the masses of humanity that 
poured into every place of amusement in London on that oc- 
casion. At 'the Lane' (as they call 'Old Drury' here) every 
tier was like an over-yeasted dough overflowing its pan on every 
side. Whenever the orchestra struck up a familiar music-hall 
air the boys took it up & yelled out the chorus ; while the boxes, 
crowded with such sights of pretty children, took everything in, 
both off the stage & on it, with the most intently serious vis- 
ages, and the old folks furnished all the broad grins of the even- 

The sudden departure of Mr. James Duff in the early 
part of December for home, and his reticence concerning 
the reason for it, were caused by a momentous project 
which he disclosed to no one until he arrived in New York 
and broached it to his father. This was nothing less than 


the production in America of "H.M.S. Pinafore," which 
was accomplished in the following January (1879) at the 
Standard Theatre, with success. The names of Gilbert 
and Sullivan thereafter became household words on the 
Western Continent. 

"Jan. 2d. '79. 

New Year day is no festival here. I tried to recall our New 
York mode of keeping it by making some calls. ... I got a 
letter yesterday from Agnes Ethel asking me if there was any 
opening for her in London. Here's . . . one discontented with 
her lot ! She as well as others evidently thinks I have accom- 
plished something even to have the ears of a manager ; but you 
who know all as well as I do must feel that his ears are nothing 
without his heart." 

" 1879, Thursday, Jan. 16. 

104 Regent St. 

I attended a late supper at the 'Green Room Club' — a 
sort of oif-shoot of the Garrick — presided over by a live Duke 
(who sends game up from his covers for the table) and of which 
all the nobby actors from Irving down are members. I told 
you, I believe, they elected me an honorary member lately. 
Well, last evening Irving took the chair in the absence of the 
Duke. Suppers begin at ii : 30 p.m. after all theatres are out, 
so you can imagine what an attendance they can show. Every- 
body in the theatre world & many of the literary, of the day, 
were on hand. Young Charles Dickens (he's 40 years old now) 
and Captain Burton the great African explorer were on Irving's 
right & left. I had a humble seat on the left, quite near the 
foot ; but I remembered the biblical consolation of how the 
last shall be first ; & as soon as the tables were cleared and the 
liveliness of the night began Irving sent a messenger to me to 
ask me to occupy a seat beside him ; introduced himself when I 
came near; and with Dickens on his R and me on his left the 
rest of the evening was spent. He is very charming and gave 
a couple of recitations in exquisite table style. By that I 
mean they were untheatrical — which so many of these after- 


supper declamations are not apt to be. He took my address 
& is to make a call & have me come & see him. We parted 
at 4:30 this morning. 

Seated beside me in the earlier part of the evening was Gooch 
the manager of the Princess' Theatre; who told me that some 
scoundrel here had offered him a play wh. he had read & in 
which he saw evidences of a crib from Pique ; he had told the 
party that if it was so he would prefer to do my piece — and 
in the course of our talk he gave me evidence of this piece being 
absolutely a stolen copy of my drama. He therefore asked me 
to send him my play, & I think it is most likely I will be able 
to do some business with him about it." 

" Paris, Maison Bonfoy, Boulevard Montmartre, 

Jan. 24, '79. 

Here I am in the city of cities — after the beastliest journey 
I ever made. I left London before the sun was up this morn- 
ing and reached Paris at seven this evening; and two hours 
of this time were passed on the Channel ; but such a two hours ! 
Nothing that has been written of that 'crossing' gives any 
idea of the experience. It is the most devilish passage in the 
world I believe. The two weeks I spent crossing the Atlantic 
seemed but two minutes in comparison. . . . You will never 
precisely realize what sea sickness really is, my dear brother, 
until you take the trip from Dover to Calais. 

So you can imagine my inward 'feelinks.' The sea was 
high and I was drenched. The weather was arctic and I was 
frozen. Among fifty passengers who made the voyage with 
me but two retained the smiling visage of the beginning to the 
end. They were a couple of spry young lovers with cast iron 
stomachs and feathery consciences. They sat in safety amid- 
ships ; spooned & forgot the sea ; were happy and thought the 
journey all too short, while the rest of us . . . ! 

Stoepel who was with me said death had never seemed so 
sweet or so preferable to him before. 

At length we landed. The earth was covered with snow — 
but never was it so welcome. 


I was too miserable to look about me much at Calais; but 
the sight of my first gendarme somehow or other recalled my 
youthful spirits — for I thought of Robert Macaire and Humor 
Hall and Bill Sefton and you, and our early histrionics. 

This hotel . . . is in the very heart of the Boulevard, only a 
few squares from all the theatres & the Grand Opera. Dinner 
over we took a stroll along the Boulevard to the Rue de I'Opera 
where the electric light has replaced gas — and passed all the 
theatres of the City now open, securing seats at the Ambigu 
for tomorrow to see 'L'Assommoir.' It was too late to go to 
any play, but we strolled into 'L'Eldorado,' one of the famous 
cafe chantants — where I saw a Revue: so clever, though in- 
describable, as to furnish me with some good ideas for comic 
business for future use. It is an immense theatre of five tiers, 
shaped like an octagon — the stage being one of the eight 
sides. No admission is charged — but the refreshments are 
priced most exorbitantly ; we paid 50 cents for a cup of coffee." 

"Paris, Boulevard Montmartre, Jan. 26, '79. 

Yesterday was spent in sight seeing; today in play seeing. 
Only think of it — Sunday is the great matinee day in Paris ; 
every theatre gives one; and every place is crowded. I saw 
'L'Assommoir' at the Ambigu; 'Les Enfantsdu Capitaine Grant' 
at the Porte St. Martin; and 'Le Grand Cassimer' at the 
Varieties. L'Assommoir is a disgusting piece : One prolonged 
sigh from first to last over the miseries of the poor; with a 
dialogue culled from the lowest slang, and tritest claptrap. It 
gave me no points that I could use; & the only novelty was 
in the lavoir scene where two wash-women (the heroine & her 
rival) throw pails full of warm water (actually) over each other 
& stand dripping before the audience. The play at the Porte 
St. Martin is very good but very long ; it lasted five hours. I 
think it will be a success in America if well done — & I believe 
Tompkins of Boston has bought it. 

Neither the acting nor the scenery so far has enthused me. 
I think we have some quite as good at home. . . . 


I took in a masked ball last night at Frascati's and saw the 
can-can on its native floor. A beastlier exhibition cannot be 
shown anywhere. Argyle Rooms in London was a sort of 
paradise to that place. 

I reserve for other evenings the Fran9ais and the Grand 
Opera and the Gymnase. Business first & pleasure after. My 
first visits were made to those places which I thought might be 
suggestive for the work in hand ; now I shall go to store up for 
my future management. 

Today Stoepel brought Bijou from the Convent to see me. . . ." 

"Rome, Hotel Costauzi, Jan. 31, '79. 

Will you believe your eyes when you see the postmark on 
this letter ^ Will you believe your senses when you open it 
& read that your wandering brother is in the Eternal City .'* 
After two pressing invitations from our old friend Agnes Ethel 
(Tracy) which I debated long as to accepting, I finally suc- 
cumbed to the hearty pressure of Mr. Tracy — who sent me the 
'round' ticket with a special note that a room was ready 
warmed for me — and I left Paris Monday, & after 44 hours of 
most interesting travel through the south of France, by the 
Alps & through Turin, Bologna & Florence I reached Rome on 
Wednesday. In all my life I never received so hearty a wel- 
come ; and in all my life I have never been made to feel so en- 
tirely at home in a stranger's house as these two kind people 
have made me here. I have been here now two days — and 
they have been unceasing in their kindnesses. They have al- 
most tired themselves out in showing me the treasures of the 
City — & I believe I have seen more of this famous City than 
any one else ever saw before in two months. I shall not begin 
tonight to write you of its wonders ; nor its mysteries — I am 
too excited to begin even to catalogue them all — but I shall 
tell you of everything hereafter. I have tonight been on my 
usual round of the slums — & such slums 1 Not London nor 
Paris can surpass them in smell, in squalor nor in interest. 
The theatres by day & night have been my study — & the 


Churches, from St. Peter's to St. Clements & the Capucin 
Monastery ! — The studios have been thrown open to me, & 
two receptions by Randolph Rogers & Charles Coleman have 
been prepared for me. Tomorrow Story is to read me a comedy 
in his studio — & Monday I leave for London again, where I 
shall resume work on the play — strengthened & freshened 
by this dreamy visit which I could not accept for any other 
season, as my hosts go to Naples the day I leave here." 

"Thursday, Feb. 6, 104 Regent St. 

The annexed ^ in this morning's paper will shock you as 
much as it stuns me for a moment : 

'General sympathy will be expressed for Mr. F. B. Chat- 
terton in his new misfortune. It is no secret that the present 
Drury Lane pantomime was not a financial success, and that the 
source of profit which has for many years past sufficed to sup- 
port the losses at Drury Lane during the rest of the year had 
thus been cut off". Mr. Chatterton proposed to his artists that 
they should accept half salaries during the rest of the season. 
These terms were, out of respect and esteem for their old man- 
ager, accepted by a majority of the company, but the Yokes 
Family declined them. As the pantomime could not be per- 
formed without the Yokes Family, the house was closed on 
Tuesday. What will be the ultimate fate of the theatre is at 
present doubtful ; but that Mr. Chatterton will soon again 
be on his legs, and in the direction of a place of amusement less 
unfortunate than Drury Lane has been, is considered certain by 
those who have observed the energy and courage Mr. Chat- 
terton has displayed through life.' " 

" Saturday, Feb. 8. 

Chatterton has just left me. His intention is to put himself 
into bankruptcy, but he has a prospect in regard to my play 
which may yet get it before the public at Drury Lane. He is 
to have an interview with the Committee of Drury Lane (it is 
owned by a board) in a few days — & he will see if they will 
run the theatre for him or allow it to be run for him — pending 


bankruptcy proceedings ; if so he will arrange for the produc- 
tion there of the piece on Easter Monday. 

If not : — If the theatre is to be closed against him — he 
proposes that we share the expenses of a company to cast it 
between us ; that we offer play & company at either the Adelphi 
or the Princess' Theatre for 50 per cent of the receipts on con- 
dition of the manager giving it a proper get up & advertising; 
& share the profits.''^ 

" 104 Regent St., Feb'y 18, '79. 

At every theatre they are doing a play which is more or less 
musical — and I am convinced that the coming success with us 
will be a genuine musical comedy : something less extravagant 
than Round the Clock, but really a true comedy interspersed 
with songs, duets, and choruses: I shall spend the rest of my 
time here trying to engage about three clever & pretty women 
& as many men who can sing & act; and we must open in 
New York next season with this. I got your letters of the 12th 
& 19th — with the advice about coming home. I have thought 
seriously of doing so myself, for the prospects here are most 
uncertain ; everybody being so damnably afraid to touch a 
new play, or a new author, or a novelty of any sort. This is 
the universal feeling over here — & I'm sure the country will 
perish of dry rot some day or other." 

" 104 Regent St., March 14, '79. 

I shall sail either in the Baltic on the i8th or in the Brit- 
tanic on the 27th. I feel decidedly bitter at the thought of 
having spent so much time fruitlessly; and giving rise to so 
many hopes which have no result — but I trust that the months 
I have apparently lost here will not be altogether without some 
recompense hereafter. . . . 

I resolved as far as the new play was concerned not to risk 
a cent, or spend a farthing of our money on any theatre or 
manager here. If they did not feel safe in going in for the risk 
— I felt it would be folly for me to trifle away more time or 
money in urging it. 


So I am coming home. Poor as I went. Quite as discour- 
aged. Unless Eno is very free and liberal in his propositions I 
don't think I will urge him; nor will I think of any other theatre 
for the present. 

I will probably have the strings in my hand of two or three 
valuable engagements for a company if Fate is favorable to my 
resumption of management — and if that is really to be ac- 
complished it will even be easy enough for me now to return 
here in July to secure anything specially needed. 

I would not take another new theatre for ten thousand 
dollars free gift. You know I overcame my old prejudice & 
'got into' the 28th St. house — with the result wh. I always 
said befell the first manager of every new theatre. He is only 
a catspaw which monkey Time uses to pull the hot nuts out for 
some favorite." 

To sum up Augustin's experience with English the- 
atrical affairs : Mr. Gooch of the Princess Theatre talked 
with him about "Under the Gaslight" for Easter; Mr. 
John S. Clarke of the Haymarket asked for "Lemons" 
to read; Gooch afterwards sent for "A Flash of Light- 
ning." Nothing was eventually accepted. Finally Chat- 
terton offered an opening at Drury Lane for a local melo- 
drama, arranged the terms, three guineas a night, and 
approved episodes from "A Dark City," "A Flash of 
Lightning," and "Under the Gaslight," with new London 
scenes and characters arranged so as to make a new 
play. Meanwhile, Henderson of the Folly Theatre read 
"Lemons" and "The Big Bonanza" and accepted 
"Lemons" for The Criterion Theatre managed by Wynd- 
ham. Daly put it in rehearsal there, but after two at- 
tempts found the cast inadequate and the performers in- 
different, and withdrew it. The Olympic Theatre sent 
for "Pique," but did not like the story. 

Chatterton began the scenery for the new piece at old 


Drury — Beanly was the artist — and arranged for 
Charles Lamb Kenney, son of the author of a famous 
old farce, "Paul Pry," to introduce Daly to the fraternity 
of dramatic critics (his acquaintance so far had been with 
managers), and the author began his explorations of the 
picturesque side of London for material. 

While this was going on, Mr. Gooch sent for "Pique," 
and Mr. Toole asked for "Lemons" and "Bonanza." 
Suddenly Chatterton failed and had to surrender Drury 
Lane, as we have seen, and that closed the only prospect 
of an opening in London. 

The misfortune of Chatterton must have recalled to 
Augustin his own similar trouble in New York. There 
were some differences, however. Chatterton went through 
bankruptcy, and his friends got up a benefit for him. A 
committee for the latter purpose was organized and met 
in Drury Lane Theatre with Arthur Sterling as chairman. 
Augustin was placed on the committee. 

The want of appreciation which "Pique" met with 
from the London managers was a distinct surprise. 
When Miss Davenport was in England the previous 
summer, Mapleson wrote to her from Her Majesty's 
Theatre : 

"Dear Miss D, ,_, , ^ . , 

Welcome to England. 

I have told my man to send you a nice box for Wednesday. 

Why can't we do 'Pique' at Her Majesty's.^ A most bril- 
liant chance if well mounted as it was done at the 5th Avenue, 
& a fortune to be made. Ever yours 

J. H. Mapleson. 

They don't know how to mount a piece over here." 

When news of Chatterton's trouble reached Rome, 
Mrs. Tracy wrote immediately : 


,^ , , , T^ , "Rome, Feb. 14th, 1879. 

My dear Mr. Daly ^ ' /^ 

Your letter telling of Chatterton's failure found Mr. & Mrs. 
Vedder and a gentleman friend at dinner with us. I asked to 
be excused while I read it — and when I told them the bad news 
I wish you could have heard all our exclamations of regret 
at what cannot fail to be a great disappointment to you. I 
can't tell you how much we both wish you could have known 
about it and remained with us a few weeks. It is too bad that 
you have lost this chance in London, but perhaps another and 
a better one may turn up for you — and after all it may be far 
better under the present circumstances that you did not pro- 
duce your play at Drury Lane. Let us hope it is for the best. 
No doubt something is waiting for you at home — where every- 
body is sure to welcome you ! With regard to me — we are 
just at this moment trying to decide what is wisest for us to do ! 
Stay in Europe or return to America. If I go home Frank has 
no objection in the world to my acting — but I don't like to 
urge him to return on my account or to gratify my ambition 
possibly at the expense of his health. When I know how he 
has decided I will let you know, then if you care to let me ap- 
pear under your management I shall only be too glad to do so. 
I am sure we shall not disagree on the subject of terms. . . . 
Harkins offered to play me after two hundred dollars a night 
and give me one full benefit. If we should be able to arrange 
what would you like me to do ? I have nothing except 'Agnes.' 
Would you like to do some of your own pieces ? I shall be in 
Paris in the spring and if there should be anything new suit- 
able for me will be on the look out. . . . 

Mr. Tracy sends warmest and enthusiastic regards — and 
I am always sincerely Yours 

Agnes E. Tracy." 

Augustin mentions his plans for engagements to be 
made in London in anticipation of an opening in New 
York; he sought Miss Neilson with that object. Miss 
Neilson did not play under his management when he was 


reestablished in New York. In fact her history after 
this time was a brief one. Her last appearance in America 
was in July, 1880, and the next month she died in Paris. 

Henry Paulton, one of the prime favorites of the 
English comic stage, was another acquisition Augustin 
had in mind, but Paulton desired to be introduced as a 
star on the first visit, for, as he wrote, "I don't want to 
waste America." 

Among the earliest, if not the first, of the proposals to 
Henry Irving for a tour of the United States was one from 
Mr. Daly made at this time (March 14, 1879) before he 
left London. He offered Irving a three months' engage- 
ment and half of the gross receipts, guaranteeing $500 
for each performance, Irving to play 5 nights and a 
matinee each week. If Miss Ellen Terry could be in- 
duced to accompany him, she would receive ^500 per 
week for seven performances, and select her own 
distinct play for Saturday nights. The company was 
to be furnished by Mr. Daly and to include a leading 
English actor to support both Irving and Miss Terry. 
But it was not for five years — or until 1883 — that 
Irving thought the time propitious for the American 
experiment, and then he brought his own company and 
scenery. His debut at the Star Theatre (formerly 
Wallack's) at Thirteenth Street and Broadway will be re- 
called by many playgoers. It met with the success which 
my brother anticipated at the early date of which we have 
been speaking. Everything Irving did in his first days 
was accepted, and he dared everything. He announced 
"The Lady of Lyons" at the Lyceum in 1879 — Mrs. 
Wood wrote of it : 

"Irving is simply ludicrous as Claude. Terry looks too 
lovely — but it is not Pauline." 


While Augustin was abroad trying to acquire an open- 
ing, his library was disposed of at home. It was sold at 
public auction, at Leavitt's in Clinton Hall, Astor Place 
(the site of the old Opera House), commencing Monday, 
October 14, 1878. Curiously enough our old school- 
mate John H. V. Arnold sold his library at auction in 
the same year. His collection contained a great number 
of theatrical biographies, but was especially notable for 
its volumes of celebrated and criminal trials, perhaps the 
most complete in the country. Arnold told me he had 
to dispose of his books because they took up too much 
room. If I remember rightly, his catalogue comprised 
over three thousand lots. I think that, like many other 
"collectors," having enjoyed the pleasure of accumulat- 
ing, he longed for the excitement of "dispersing." 

The sale of the Daly books continued for five nights, 
and was reported by Miss Jeannette Gilder and other 
representatives of the press, day by day, in a very com- 
petent and appreciative manner. There were 1037 titles, 
besides eighty which belonged to Bouton, the bookseller,' 
who catalogued the sale. The total for the '1037 reached 
^9969.63, which, after deductions for auction expenses, 
netted something under ^8500. The auctioneers and 
Bouton thought the sale very successful, although Bouton 
conceded that the books did not bring as much as Mr. Daly 
had paid for them at private sale — largely to Bouton 
himself. The collection comprised many works extra 
illustrated by former owners as well as by Daly. Most 
were of the kind dear to lovers of the theatre. 

The most-talked-of item in the catalogue was Mr. 
Daly's copy of Knight's Pictorial Shakespeare, extended 
to forty-four volumes by the insertion of 3700 plates. 
There were also Peter Cunningham's "Nell Gwynne"; 
letters of the comedian J. P. Harley, addressed to George 


Daniell, containing matter of interest in the drama gen- 
erally; the "Attic Miscellany"; and Brough and Cruik- 
shank's "FalstafF," extra illustrated. The volume most 
cherished by Daly was his own illustrated copy of the 
"Holland Memorial," — a sketch of the life of George 
Holland, the veteran comedian, with dramatic reminis- 
cences and anecdotes, Morrell, 1871, Royal 4to, of which 
only fifty copies were printed. It was extended to two 
thick volumes, imperial quarto, with upwards of two 
hundred plates of celebrated actors and actresses, Hol- 
land's contemporaries, many original drawings (one by 
Tom Worth, of Holland, as Dickens' Fat Boy in "Pick- 
wick," and another of Holland as Paul Pry), together 
with the original manuscript account of the "Holland 
Fund." There were Chambers' " Book of Days," extended 
to twelve volumes (one for each month), an absolutely 
unique collection, labelled "Human Longevity"; obitu- 
aries of many singular persons of both sexes ; a collec- 
tion of fifty years from old newspapers, gazettes, maga- 
zines, and scarce books, bound up in five volumes, imp. 
8vo., and dated London 1825-75. 

Bouton tried to protect some of the "extra illustrated" 
books relating to the stage by putting an "upset price" 
upon them and causing them to be bought in for account 
of Mr. Daly; but all of them, except the Records of the 
New York Stage, were subsequently worked off" in other 
sales, public or private. Little was left of the proceeds 
of the sale after repaying Bouton his advances, made to 
keep the theatre going in its last season. 


Return from England. At work upon "L'Assommoir." Engagement 
of Ada Rehan. Frank W. Sanger. Mrs. Harry Watkins. A fine 
production of "L'Assommoir, " but no public for the prohibition 
drama. Looking for a theatre ; the present site of Daly's is selected. 
Efforts to bring Irving to America fruitless. Efforts to take Booth 
to London now fail. Correspondence. Account of Booth's 
early visit to England. Mrs. Sykes writes about the Terry sis- 
ters. An echo of the days of the Melville Troupe. Harry Sey- 
mour settled with at last. Making over an old theatre into a new 
one. How to bring the auditorium down one story. Daly's 
gift for reconstruction. Charles Fechter disapproves unavailingly. 
The company engaged. Beginning of a world-famous organiza- 
tion. Their modest salaries, particularly Miss Rehan's and 
Drew's. Fisher acquiesces. Parkes is horrified, LeClercq re- 
signed, Davidge completely subdued. Georgiana Drew (Mrs. 
Barrymore). Otis Skinner. Catherine Lewis unknown. Mr. 
Daly's terms the ruling rates. Miss May Fielding recommended 
by Miss Ethel. Full list of the company and salaries. Expenses 
of the new establishment. Youth, talent, ambition, and trust. 
What Mrs. Gilbert and Mr. Lewis (now with Abbey) say. 

Daly returned from England considerably poorer than 
when he went there, except for the knowledge of warm 
English hospitality and the useful experience of the 
London theatres and managers. He brought back with 
him the play "L'Assommoir," which he had seen in Paris 
and disliked ; but Charles Warner had made a great hit 
in London in the delirium tremens scene as described by 
Zola, and Mr. John DuflF remitted two hundred pounds to 
bring the play over. He advised Daly to produce it at 
the Olympic Theatre. Of this venture, in a now out-of- 
the-way playhouse, whose popularity had departed, it 
would be unnecessary to record more than its failure, 



except that the engagements for the production brought 
to Mr. Daly's notice the young girl who was later to 
become a queen of comedy. Mr. Gardner, manager of 
Mrs. John Drew's Philadelphia theatre, was employed 
to collect a suitable company for "L'Assommoir," and 
among his other recommendations came this one : 

"New York, April ii, 1879. 
My dear Mr. Daly, 

Miss Ada Rehan who will play with Miss Davenport at the 
Grand next week is a tall beautiful girl and splendid actress. I 
would advise you to see her by all means." 

Miss Rehan was playing Mary Standish to Miss Fanny 
Davenport's Mabel Renfrew in Daly's "Pique," and 
showed intelligence and adaptability, aided by a "velvet 
voice," as Mr. Depew in after years described it. She 
was engaged for the small part of Virginia and after- 
wards given Clemence in the brief run of "L'Assom- 

The version produced at the Olympic was the French 
dramatization of Zola's novel done over into English 
by Mrs. Olive Logan Sykes, who, in fact, negotiated the 
purchase with the play-broker Mayer. 

Among the other actors engaged for "L'Assommoir" 
were the young Frank W. Sanger, afterwards to become 
a noted theatrical and operatic manager, Harry Meredith, 
Frank Drew, and Mrs. Harry Watkins, formerly Mrs. 
Charles Howard, and earlier, Rosina Shaw, one of three 
talented sisters, favorites in concert and in drama since 
1839. She had been a leading lady for years in England 
as well as in America, and now, nearing her sixtieth year, 
proved her vivacity by assuming an urchin part. 

With every aid from a competent company, adequate 
equipmentand experienced stage direction, "L'Assommoir " 


— as the play was called — failed to receive the favor 
bestowed upon it in London. The New York public was 
not to be attracted by such moral dramas as "The Drunk- 
ard" and "The Bottle," which had for many years dis- 
puted with "Uncle Tom's Cabin" the favor of rural 
audiences. The lack of interest was perceived on the 
first night. After three weeks the play was withdrawn. 
This was a greater disappointment to Mr. DuflF than to 
Mr. Daly, who had had little faith in melodramas "of 
low life after the failure of "The Dark City." With 
undiminished confidence in his son-in-law, Mr. Duff" now 
encouraged the renewal of his efforts for a permanent 
footing, and it was found that the Broadway Theatre 
(near Thirtieth Street) was in the market. 

A moment may be spared to recall a further eflfort to 
bring Henry Irving and Miss Ellen Terry to America. 
Mrs. Olive Logan Sykes, on Daly's behalf, enlisted Mr. 
McHenry, the banker, and Sir Henry Wikoff in this 
attempt, and had several interviews with Irving, who told 
her of splendid offers of the same kind from Max Strakosch, 
Wallack, and Boucicault. She gathered that only Wal- 
lack's had so far been considered ; but Irving told her 
that he liked Mr. Daly and thought him a sincere man. 
In the course of this talk he broached the scheme of having 
Edwin Booth play in the Lyceum in London, while he 
(Irving) played in America, and stated that Booth had 
written him a long letter about it. He said he admired 
Booth's acting and was sure he could please "if his pieces 
were properly done." He purposed that Miss Terry 
should remain in London to support Booth, and that her 
sisters Marion and Florence should come to America 
with him. In Mrs. Sykes' opinion, Mr. Daly's offer to 
deposit ^10,000 as security for the tour influenced Mr. 
Irving, who, as she expressed it, meant to deal with 


Mr. Daly "fair and square" as to sharing terms, so 
that Mr. Daly should not bear all the risk. 

Upon receipt of this information, Daly wrote at once 
to Booth, proposing the season at the Lyceum, and re- 
ceived the following : 

"68 Madison Ave. 
June 4th, 1879. 
Augn. Daly Esqr. 
Dear Sir 

Mr. Irving is fully acquainted with my views on the subject 
to which you refer, and I am surprised that he should entertain 
or express a hope that I should visit England without communi- 
cating with me directly. I have not yet 'screwed my resolution 
to the sticking place' concerning a professional visit to England, 
consequently am not prepared to negotiate. 

Truly yours 
Edwin Booth." 

The curtness of this response made my brother wonder 
if it were caused by any personal grievance connected 
with himself, and he immediately inquired of Booth, 
who responded in a way to dispel his apprehension, even 
if it did throw a shadow across the Atlantic : 

"June 6th, 1879. 
Augustin Daly Esq. 
Dear Sir 

I cannot conceive why you should suppose me to be in- 
fluenced against you by some "secret offense" — such is not 
the case, therefore rid your mind at once of that annoyance 
— if it be one. The cause of my 'surprise' at Mr. Irving's 
conduct concerns none but our two selves, and, for the present, 
it must remain a mystery ! ^^.^1^ ^,^^^^^ 

Edwin Booth." 

Booth had visited England as early as 1861, opening at 
the Haymarket what proved to be an unsuccessful 


season. He played Shylock, Sir Giles Overreach, and 
Richelieu, and only in the latter part did he extract any- 
thing like warm praise from the press. A brief tour in 
the provinces carried him to Manchester, where he found 
Irving in the stock company that supported him. Irving 
played Cassio to his Othello, Laertes to his Hamlet, and 
Bassanio to his Shylock. Irving's admiration of Booth's 
acting doubtless dated from that time; his own rise was 
rapid from the time that he was "discovered" by Bateman 
and became the chief attraction of the Lyceum in London. 

The unappreciative reception which Booth found in 
1 86 1 doubtless caused him for many years to look with no 
particular favor upon a second journey abroad, and it was 
not until 1880, the year following his writing of the above 
letters, that he reappeared in London. This was not at 
the Lyceum, but at the Princess, under Gooch. His 
engagement lasted a hundred nights, beginning with 
Hamlet, which was coldly received (this was one of Irving's 
parts) and followed by Richelieu, which again proved 
most popular. The next year whatever remained of the 
"mystery" was evidently happily dissipated, for he and 
Irving played together at the Lyceum in "Othello," 
Irving assuming lago and Ellen Terry Desdemona. 

With reference to Irving's suggestion about an engage- 
ment for Miss Terry's sisters, it will be interesting to 
hear of the impression they made upon Mrs. Sykes, who 
had theatrical experience, was herself gifted with a fine 
stage presence, and was an excellent judge of that qualifi- 
cation in others : 

"May 19. 

Miss Marion Terry & her mother called on me the other day. 
She is very sweet & gentle — almost as much so as Ellen. She 
is engaged for the Prince of Wales' until a year from next July. 
Mrs. Terry informed me that she is to get almost the figure you 


offered her ... & all costumes found. . . . The next day she 
wrote me that their ideas for America were far, far beyond £40 
a week . . . Florence is disengaged but they would not let her 
go out alone. In regard to Ellen there is no use approaching her 
yet. She is bound to Irving & indeed it is his fixed intention to 
leave her here when he goes, as he wants pieces done for her & 
believes she would draw in them." 

"July ID, '79. 

I have written Helen Stewart to call on me. Mrs. Terry with 
Marion & Florence called on me yesterday. The girls made a 
tremendous sensation in the hotel — they are lovely. I am to 
see Ellen whenever I like, but her mother tells me she don't want 
to go to America. Mrs. T. says the salary you offer Florence 
is only £2 a week in advance of what Neville gave her. She 
says (& others have told me the same) that the established rule 
with English artists is not to go to America for less than 3 times 
what they get here, else there is no profit. ... I am pegging 
away at 'Newport' and will work in your ideas." 

There was another proposition for an American tour 
which may be briefly referred to. It came from my 
brother's early friend Mrs. Bateman, and concerned the 
bringing over of her daughter Isabel and Charles Warner 
in Wills' play, "Charles I," which had been a very 
successful English production, and in which Miss Bateman 
created the part of Henrietta Maria. 

My brother's own plays continued attractive. While 
Miss Davenport had a virtual monopoly of the society 
dramas, Louis James, now starring, wanted "Monsieur 
Alphonse," and the old favorite "Under the Gaslight" 
was acquired by Gus Phillips, whose /or/^ was "Dutch" 
dialect parts, and who played the one-armed soldier, 
Snorkey^ as a German-American veteran. 

If the reader remembers the boyish adventure of 
the "Melville Troupe," twenty-three years before this, 


he will not have forgotten the loyal way In which Harry 
Seymour, the costumer, without the shadow of a prospect 
of remuneration for his services, opened his trunks and 
robed the boys and girls for their performances. It is 
good to read this extract from a letter of his : 

"Seymour's Costume Depot, 62 
East 1 2th Street. The largest 
collection of Costumes, Arms, 
Banners and Paraphernalia for 
Theatres, Circuses, Balls and 
Tableaux in America. 
New York, May 13, 1879. 
Augustin Daly Esqr 
Dear Sir 

Mrs. S. unites with me in rendering to you our heartfelt 
thanks for the generous assistance rendered to us on the 15th 
ult. That assistance saved us from being put In the street, 
and believe me If there is any way or means in our power by 
which we can more than by thanks gratefully express our 
appreciation command us and we will prove It. . . . 
Believe me ever yours to command 

Harry J. Seymour." 

I remember Seymour well, and my brother and I 
often laughed over the episode of the "Melville Troupe," 
recalling poor Harry's blank face when confronted with 
an empty exchequer; and how he nevertheless gallantly 
helped out the desperate youthful venture ; but such was 
my brother's reticence in those things that until I came 
upon this letter after his death, I never knew that he had 
found a means of returning that long-past kindness. And I 
like to think that out of the mist of those golden days 
there was evolved from time to time some other figure 
who came to Augustin and recalled his or her share in 
the wonderful performance ; that even the German band 


were ultimately paid according to their magnanimity; 
and certainly that the good girls, who read up in "Mac- 
beth" and "Poor Pillicoddy" and "Toodles" until they 
were dead letter perfect, were not forgotten. 

But to return to the bustling days of 1879 and the mak- 
ing of "Daly's Theatre." Not the least attraction of 
this property was that it was so run down and antiquated 
that it could be had for the very low rental of ^14,000 
for the first year and ^16,000 for the next — an important 
consideration, as the alterations my brother designed 
would cost at least ^18,000. The first step was to obliter- 
ate every reminder of the old "museum" days, among 
whose later attractions was a huge stone image called the 
"Cardiff Giant," which had been dug up years before on 
a farm in the upper part of the State and exhibited as the 
petrified remains of a prehistoric man. A humorous 
controversy was started at the time in the press concern- 
ing its authenticity. There was no doubt that it had been 
dug up at the place specified, — affidavits of the fact 
being plentiful, — but there was much curiosity as to the 
date of its interment. The publicity warranted Banvard 
in bringing the huge figure to New York and placing it 
in this museum among the antiquities on the first floor. 
The old theatre had an entrance on Broadway, fifty 
feet long, terminating in a steep stairway of some nineteen 
steps which led to the auditorium. The auditorium itself, 
constructed on a plan almost as antique as the Cardiff 
Giant, contained a high stage with two proscenium boxes 
perched over the footlights. Upon this discouraging 
situation the constructive mind of Mr. Daly brooded but 
a short time, and then, with the aid of Mr. S. D. Hatch, 
the architect, contrived the most surprising changes. 
The auditorium was practically brought down to the 
ground floor by the simple expedient of distributing the 


nineteen steps along the whole length of the fifty foot 
passage. Four steps were placed at the street, seven 
between the box office and the main doors, four led up 
to the ticket-taker's rail, and four more to the auditorium. 
The entrance was widened and tiled, and the extensive 
foyer carpeted, furnished, and ornamented with mantels, 
mirrors, and paintings. 

The stage was lowered considerably; a new proscenium 
arch was erected to frame the stage pictures ; three private 
boxes on each side were built, and new ceilings erected. 
The theatre as it exists to-day presents, after thirty-six 
years, the design of Mr. Daly, with his decorations and 
embellishments added from season to season. Augustin 
dearly loved to exercise his gift for reconstruction — 
mechanical as well as literary; but a letter of Charles 
Fechter voiced the general doubt as to his wisdom in 
transforming the old house : 

"I can't agree with you on the beautiful situation of the 
Broadway theatre nor can I agree with you on the tearing down 
of the place and remodeling back and front. 

There is to my mind very little to do in the shape of main 
changes. Decoration is the only want, and working of stage. 

You can master in both ; and maybe I can efficiently help 
in the 'carry-out' of your thoughts and improvements. But — 
for God's sake (and your own) don't begin with real extravagant 
expenses — but make believe they are accomplished. 

The masses will know no better and give you the same credit 
as if you foolishly ruined yours, before even opening your doors." 

As in the opening of the Fifth Avenue Theatre ten years 
before, the manager now surrounded himself mostly with 
young ambition. There were new policies to be pursued 
for which new and plastic talent was required. The two 
members of the Daly company destined to be linked 
indissolubly together m the memories of the longest and 


brightest day of his management were content to begin 
with moderate salaries for the sake of being attached to 
that management : 

"June 29th, 1879. 
My dear Mr. Daly 

In accordance with your desire that I should state my terms, 
may I hope that forty dollars ($40) per week will not seem an 
'iniquitous' demand. I have, I feel, improved in one point at 
least since our former connection, & that is in my manner of 
speaking, which, as you are aware, frequently rendered what I 
had to say in a degree unintelligible by reason of bad enunciation 
and rapidity. This, I think, I have 'reformed altogether' by 
almost an entire season in a semi-serious part which demanded 
slowness & distinct utterance. 

Hoping to hear from you when you have given the above your 

consideration I remain 

Yours very sincerely 

John Drew." 

"324 West 33rd. St. 
My dear Mr. Daly 

I beg to say that I will accept your offer of thirty or thirty- 
five dollars per week for next season. Hoping sincerely that it 
may be in your power — as I am sure it is your inclination — 

to make it the latter, 

I remam 

Very sincerely 

John Drew." 

"Long Branch, June 26th/79. 
Augustin Daly Esq. 
Dear Sir 

Having heard that you propose to manage the Broadway 
Theatre the coming season I would like to negotiate for a 
position with you to play the juvenile & light comedy, or in fact 
such parts as I may be suited for. I have several good offers for 
next season, some to travel, others for permanent positions, 


but I want to remain (if possible) in the City and I would like 
very much to play under your management, if agreeable to you. 
My salary will be reasonable. I have a very handsome & abun- 
dant wardrobe, & am constantly adding to it. If you think you 
(can) entertain my application I would be pleased to hear from 
you, soon as possible, even if you cannot make definite arrange- 
ments. Let me have your views, that I may know how to decide 
about other offers. Trusting to get a reply as early as con- 

I am yours truly 

Ada Rehan." 

"Dear Sir 

I am in receipt of your favor. I am willing to risk engaging 
with you, with no stipulated time, trusting you will do what 
is right in casting me for such parts as you deem advisable. I 
will make my salary $40 per week, and that is the very lowest I 
can entertain. I have several advantageous offers, and two, / give 
you my word of honor, are for $50. Thus you perceive I am trying 
to meet your views as to salary. Will you kindly let me know 
your reply as I have to give the Chestnut in Phila. an answer, as 
they are waiting & I must decide soon. I may say that I will 
dress everything as elaborately as will be consistent with the 
character. Hoping to hear from you, I am 

Yours sincerely 

Ada Rehan. 

P.S. Will you please say when you expect your season to 

"Dear Sir: 

I write to formally close the engagement with you for the 
season of '79 & '80. I accept your offer of $35 per week with the 
understanding that you will increase it as you promised should I 
be worth more to you — which I sincerely trust will be the case. 
What I am most anxious for is to play good business, as I am 
refusing a positive leading position & higher salary to accept the 
engagement with you. However I will leave the matter of bus. 


entirely in your hands feeling confident you will do what is just. 
Let me hear if this is understood satisfactorily. 

Yours very truly 

Ada Rehan. 

Byron Cottage, Atlanticville, Long Branch, July 9th '79." 

Charles Fisher wrote : 

"N.Y. June 24th, 1879. 

74 West 53d St. 
Dear Sir 

I will take $100 per week. I cannot take less, and I am con- 
fident there is not at any first-class theatre in the City an actor 
holding my position with so small salary. I mean men like 
Gilbert, Stoddart, Parselle & Beckett &c. These gentlemen get 
from twenty five to fifty per cent more than I ask, and are some- 
times out of the bills till they grumble, an arrangement with 
which I should not be so discontented. I think this proves I 
have considered the change in times and prices. I remain 

Dear Sir 

Yours respectfully 

Charles Fisher." 

George Parkes, who had lately been starring, wrote 
in reply to the question what salary he expected, — 

"Of course the most I can get, and as you are the Napoleon of 
managers as regards salaries, placing them upon a footing that 
others had to compete with, I think I am safe in trusting to your 

Mr. Daly seems to have rewarded this confidence of 
Parkes by an offer which elicited the following : 

"July 3d. 

Shades of Cesar Napoleon, never ! — Well, hardly ever. 
Star in Dundreary one season and offered $35 the next ! ' Apres 
moi le deluge ! ' After my expenses both private & public I have 


no doubt / might borrow enough to eke out the season — but 
should I die — there's the rub. I will descend from Mont Blanc 
(the heighth I had placed the salary) to $40, and could not meet 
my expenses and debts under, though I have no doubt many 
can afford to do so. Yours in melancholia 

G. Parkes." 

Charles Leclercq, as accomplished a character artist 
as ever lived, was content with ^50, Davidge, one of 
the sterling actors of his day, who bore one of the kind- 
est of hearts and possessed a wealth of professional learn- 
ing, wrote : 

"Give me $60. You know I am worth a great deal more 
than the sum you name, and believe me 

Yours sincerely 

Wm. Davidge." 

And he was persuaded to take ^50. Mollenhauer (E. R.), 
one of the best conductors of his day, furnished an 
orchestra of sixteen pieces, including three soloists, and 
his own services as conductor, for ^280 per week. James 
Roberts, scenic artist, one of the daintiest brushes of 
any theatre, was content with ^60. 

Of those who wished to enroll with Mr, Daly were the 
charming Georgie Drew, wife of Maurice Barrymore, and 
Otis Skinner, then at the outset of his career. It is part 
of the history of those youthful days that he was willing 
to accept terms Identical with those of Mr. Drew and Miss 

Among the comparatively unknown names on the 
first programme of the new house was that of Catherine 
Lewis. As the season progressed and she was fitted 
with parts up to her capacity for acting as well as singing, 
the press declared that she furnished another Instance of 


Mr. Daly's genius for discovering unsuspected talent. 
She was engaged primarily for singing parts in the musical 
programme with which he intended to vary his entertain- 
ments. She was not altogether a beginner, but she was 
beginning with Mr. Daly, and her last letter and his 
ultimatum are characteristic: 

"July 15, '79- 
137 Henry St. New York. 
Dear Mr. Daly 

I will accept your offer of $45 per week as Prima Donna for 
the season 79-80 at your Theatre in New York — you to furnish 
me with all costumes complete. 

Sincerely yours 

Catherine Lewis." 

Mr. Daly's reply is drafted at the foot of the last com- 
munication and is notable for his resolution to eliminate 
the "star" feature from his company: 

"I accept the terms & the costumes: leave out the Prima 
Donna phraseology: substitute 'for chief singing business' 
or anything else of that kind." 

A very charming person. Miss May Fielding, wholly 
new to the stage, was recommended to Mr. Daly by Mrs. 
Agnes Ethel Tracy. 

A number of young people with good voices were added. 
The full list included Harry Lacy, Hart Conway, Frank 
Bennett, E. P. Wilkes, and Messrs. Iredale, Edwards, 
Sterling, Hunting, Morton, Brien, Watson, Solomon, 
Murphy, Edgar Smith, Walsh, Burnham, Lawrence, and 
Newborough ; Mrs. Poole, and the Misses Helen Blythe, 
Margaret Lanner, Maggie Harrold, Regina Dace, Mabel 
Jordan, Annie Wakeman, Estelle Clayton, May Bowers, 
Georgiana Flagg, Isabel Everson, Nellie Howard, Lillie 


Vinton, Emma Hinckley, Sydney Nelson, Sara Lascelles, 
Maggie Barnes, Laura Thorpe, Emma Wharton, Emma 
Hamilton, Lillie Stewart, A. Lovell, Fanny McNeil, 
Grace Logan, Ella Remetze, and Dora Knowlton, who, 
long after, put her experiences into a book called "A 
Daly Debutante." 

It is pleasant to know that Mrs. Clara Fisher Maeder 
applied for a position as delineator of "comedy and 
character old woman." She was born in 181 1, was at 
first a "child star," and after growing up played Ophelia 
to Charles Kemble's Hamlet. And it is interesting, too, 
to find "Yankee Locke" (so named from his "down east" 
dialect parts) soliciting the place of "chief comedian in 
the new corps dramatique." As Maitresse de ballet^ 
Miss Malvina was engaged, a capable artist and sterling 

Some pecuniary details are not unwelcome, especially 
when they serve for contrast with present conditions, and 
show with what seamanship the still youthful manager 
prepared himself for all weathers. The weekly salaries 
for seventeen ladies and fourteen gentlemen were $1077, 
and for twenty-three chorus, ^248 ; the mechanics' or 
stage hands' wages were ^236; the scenic artist's, $60; 
the ushers', doorkeepers', &c., $88; the gas bill, $80; 
and advertising in sixteen papers, $300. From this it 
will be seen that the new management was not to be 
ruined by extravagance. The figures strike us to-day as 
marvellous. They show what the people of the stage 
were willing to do for Mr. Daly and for art ; and that they 
knew that his economies put no money in his own pocket 
at the expense of others. 

The absence of Mrs. Gilbert and Mr. Lewis from the 
ranks this first season causes one so much regret that I 
cannot forbear anticipating a little and giving this extract 


from a letter Mrs. Tracy wrote to Augustin the same 
autumn from Buffalo : 

"I saw Mrs. Gilbert and Mr. Lewis this a.m. They played 
here one week in 'Engaged' to fair business. They both said 
they would like to be with you again. We talked about old 
5th Avenue days." 

FIFTH PERIOD: 1879-1883 


Opening of Daly's Theatre, September i8, 1879. "Love's Young 
Dream" and "Newport." Miss Rehan's debut in a small singing 
part. The quest for plays. Death of John Brougham. Death 
of "Count Joannes." His last letter. "Divorce." "Wives," 
by Bronson Howard, from Moliere. "An Arabian Night." "Man 
and Wife." Mrs. Gilbert drops in on Daly. James Lewis re- 
turns. Oakey Hall and the prohibition drama. "Oofty Gooft." 
"The Fellers Wot Be's Around." Owen Gormley, the back-door 
keeper. Patrick McCarthy, night watchman. Richard Redding, 
colored factotum. Business managers. Mr. John Farrington. 
Mr. John A. Duff. "The Royal Middy." "The Way We Live." 
End of the season. General Sherman. 

When the doors were opened on the night of September 
18, 1879, the spectators deemed the transformation of 
the old Broadway Theatre a miracle of ingenuity and 
taste. The entertainment was a comedietta in one 
act called "Love's Young Dream," In which Miss Rehan 
and Miss Fielding appeared with Fisher, Parkes, Lacy, 
and Wilkes, This was followed by a comedy in three 
acts, "Newport," by Mrs. OHve Logan Sykes, in which 
Miss Lewis appeared with Davidge, Leclercq, Drew, 
Conway, and the whole company of debutantes. 

All the young people sang. In the first piece Miss 
Rehan had a duet with Miss Fielding, and Miss Fielding 
a duet with Lacy, and a romanza. In the second piece 
the chorus had several numbers, and Miss Lewis and Hart 
Conway a musical programme of considerable length. 
The entertainment, a blending of the dramatic and 
lyrical, was not voted a success. What the audience 



carried away that first night was the memory of a 
host of bright young people, eager to please and full of 

Many plays were submitted to Daly's consideration 
at this time. Julian Alagnus and H, C. Bunner (editor 
of Puck) offered a vaudeville composed by themselves, 
for which they proposed to have music set by Tissington. 
Sara Stevens, who played Hero to the elder Wallack's 
Benedick in 1857, and old women with Lester Wallack in 
1878, wished Mr. Daly to give matinees of a play by John 
Brougham, "Lenore." Her letter was written but a 
short time before Brougham's death. That most amiable 
and talented of actors, who had for nearly forty years 
been a public favorite, quitted the stage this year and 
died in June, 1880. An annuity, purchased with $10,000, 
the proceeds of a benefit given for him, was enjoyed but 
two years before his death. Bronson Howard had left 
with Daly, long before, an adaptation of two comedies of 
Moliere (" L'Ecole des Femmes " and " L'Ecole des Maris ") 
which he called "Wives." 

The present shadow of failure was of course lightened 
by gleams of humor, some of which were furnished by a 
grave epistle from the Count Joannes delicately suggesting 
an attractive programme — "Richard HI," in which he 
said he had played at the Lyceum to $1188, "while 
another personage played the same character on the same 
evening, and only a few streets distant, to a beggarly 
$420." The letter omitted the fact that the Count's 
great house was composed of an uproarious crowd assem- 
bled to ridicule his performance. This was probably 
among the last letters the poor "Count" ever penned, 
for shortly after he died in his room in a small hotel on 
Sixth Avenue. He preserved his fiery spirit to the last, 
as well as his polished manners. One of his latest ex- 


ploits was a celebration of the centennial of Paul Jones, 
which he said made him "troops of friends," 

"Divorce" was presented on October i, and was so 
well received that it was played altogether twenty- 
three times. Miss Davenport's role, Lu Ten Eyck, was 
first assigned to Miss Amabel Jordan (daughter of the well- 
known Emily Thorne and of George Jordan, once the rival 
of Lester Wallack), but on second thoughts was given to 
one of the most modest members of the new company — 
Miss Ada Rehan — who carried it with a buoyancy that 
brought the revival an unexpected measure of success. 
While it was running, Bronson Howard's "Wives" was 
rapidly prepared, and on October 18 was produced with 
immediate success. Had it been presented as the open- 
ing bill, it would have made a difference in the fortunes 
of the season. Musical numbers were introduced for 
Miss Lewis, and a fascinating chorus of Musketeers. 
Howard wrote from London : 

"My dear Daly, 

I have been through a variety of feelings during the last few 
weeks which I can now laugh at — and perhaps I owe you an 
apology for some of them, now that you have brought 'Wives' 
to a triumphant result. When I first read your announcement 
I tore what little hair I have and wished I had had warning to 
revise the piece after 5 years' added experience. When I saw 
the fuller programme I pranced around under the impression 
that you were doing up the piece in some modern shape ; and 
where under the sun the '20 young ladies' could come in for a 
chorus ( .^) puzzled and troubled me. I am glad I did not meet 
you just then on a dark night in a side street. Then I saw no 
mention of Moliere in the advertisement, and I needed all my 
Christian training to respect the catechism. At last I saw an 
announcement with Moliere in, and saying the scene was in the 
time of Louis XIV. I calmed down a little. Then the full 


announcement of the last day made me still more serene. I re- 
ceived the press notices yesterday, and of course I am now com- 
placently rejoicing in the evident success. I am very glad 
that you credited Mr. Williams with the songs and choruses, 
for, while I dare say they are good for the popular effect I am 
pleased not to be responsible for them, as I might meet Moliere's 
ghost walking through a churchyard some night and he'd get 
the best of me. Accept my thanks for the manner in which 
you must have put the piece on. 

Sincerely yours 

Bronson Howard." 

"Wives" was played forty-eight times, and then re- 
placed by one of those comedies adapted from the German 
which afterwards became identified with Daly's Theatre. 
This was Von Moser's "Haroun al Raschid," produced 
December i, 1879, under the name of "An Arabian 
Night, or Haroun al Raschid and his Mother-in-law." 
It was greatly enjoyed, and played seventy-six times. 

The company meanwhile was kept in training for more 
important work by the revival of "Man and Wife" for 
matinees with Miss Blythe as Anne, Miss Jordan as 
Blanche, Mrs. Poole as Hester Dethridge, Morton as 
Geoffrey, Drew as Arnold, and Leclercq as Sir Patrick. 
As in the case of "Divorce," the only representative of 
the original cast was Davidge, who repeated his inimitable 

In December our old friend Mrs. Gilbert, on her way 
through New York with Abbey's company, called to see 
her former manager. It was a great meeting and out- 
pouring of souls, and the result appears in the following 

letter : 

"January 10', 1880. 
My dear Mr. Daly 

It is perfectly understood on my part that I am engaged 
with you for your next season of 1880 and 1881 at seventy dollars 


per week and I can assure you the thought of being with you 
again gives me a great deal of pleasure. 

Yours very sincerely, 

Mrs. G. H. Gilbert." 

From the time that "Grandma" had her interview, she 
resolved (and she told Mr. Daly so) that James Lewis 
should return to the fold. Her determination resulted 
in his engagement for the next season. 

A matinee was given by Mr. Daly in aid of the Seventh 
Regiment fund for furnishing its new armory on Park 
Avenue, which was now, December, 1879, opened with a 
fair, to which everybody contributed with the greatest 
good will. The thanks of the Board of Managers was 
conveyed to Mr. Daly by Colonel Emmons Clark. 

In the face of the late failure of "L'Assommoir," the en- 
thusiastic Oakey Hall, now engaged on The World, wrote to 
Mr. Daly twice that he "could not resist the feeling that 
a moral domestic drama, based on the vices of drunken- 
ness and gambling, would be a go if produced during the 
Lenten season to touch the society people already stirred 
by the 'moderate drinking' movement." The manager, 
suffering from his late experience, found it quite easy 
himself to resist that feeling, 

Louis James wrote from Indiana for a strong emotional 
play for Miss Marie Wainwright and himself. James, as 
we know, was the original Yorick, and surpassed in 
force and pathos Barrett, who undertook the part later. 
With serious appreciation of his calling he could have gone 
far, but he was fatally lacking in that quahty; and we 
know that dramatic art rewards only earnest votaries. 
Another correspondent of that time was the distressed but 
undaunted adventurer "Oofty Gooft" (Gus Phillips), 
who was constantly struggling with the royalties of 


"Under the Gaslight." At various times he wrote: "I 
send on to-day per express one hundred dollars in hard 
money — hard to get, hard to keep, and hard to part 
with. Yours for sure." "I am broke but smiling." 
"Will try and make you happy as soon as possible. Busi- 
ness very tart. Yours regretfully!" "Had to borrow 
money to get out of town. Am obliged to inquire of my 
friends the time of day. Oofty." 

I may properly mention here "The Fellers Wot Be's 
Around," a supposed coterie of quaint and appreciative 
habitues of the upper gallery, who, since 1855, had been 
patrons of the famous New York theatres, had con- 
tinued their attendance through the old Burton and 
Wallack days to those of both Fifth Avenues, and 
had now followed the fortunes of Daly to his new home. 
These modest visitors never revealed their identity to 
the manager, but after important productions usually 
wrote him a friendly review, nothing extenuating, how- 
ever, which he never failed to show me. It was written 
on an elaborate sheet of note-paper with a filet border of 
red and blue lines, a monogram at the top, and colored 
triangular spaces in the upper corners with the legend, 
"1855-1879; Compliments of the fellers wot be's around. 
Memorandum." They did not hesitate to make known 
their wants, too, as appears by a communication apropos 
of a scarcity of programmes on the first night of "Wives" : 

"To persons attending a theatrical performance for instruction 
or amusement, two things occur to us as being essential : A 
good play and — a ' Bill of the Play.' The first of these you pro- 
vided on Saturday night, the latter you did not. To us who are 
old 'rounders' and familiar with the voice, gait and peculiarities 
of most of the actors and actresses on the American Stage, a 
bill is not indispensable to enable us to recognize the performers, 
except at your theatres, where you have provided so many new 


faces this season. But then, we keep a file of all 'Bills of the 
Play' — We were unable to procure one on the first night of 
' Wives.' Therefore, knowing how obliging you have been to us 
in the past, we make bold to tax your generosity once more, 
and request that you will kindly furnish us with a copy if possible 
— Of course we shall see 'Wives' again, and then we can get a 
'Bill' — but it will not be a 'first night' one. 

Trusting you will pardon our temerity, 
we are still 
'The Fellers Wot Be's Around.' 
To Augustin Daly 

New York, Oct. 20, 1879." 

It was in this season that a certain official, who had been 
celebrated by no less a person than Mark Twain, first 
loomed portentously upon all who approached the stage 
door of Daly's. This was the redoubtable "Owen," 
whose last name almost nobody but the manager and the 
treasurer knew. Mr. Gormley was an Irishman of 
enormous strength and peaceable habits, formerly stage 
doorkeeper in A. T. Stewart's old theatre where "Under 
the Gaslight" and "Griffith Gaunt" were played; he 
applied to Mr. Daly for a place as soon as he heard of the 
new venture. Owen could take an ordinary man under 
each arm and walk off with them. It is related of him 
that once at Stewart's old theatre, when it became 
necessary to move a long "box sign" which spanned the 
wide sidewalk from the building to the curb, and four 
men staggered under the weight of one end of it, Owen 
picked up and carried the other end with the greatest ease. 
He had a weakness, of course (as what strong man has 
not."*), and possessed quite a collection of documents 
certifying in due form that he had "taken the pledge." 
For twenty years almost every dramatist worthy of the 
name knew Owen. He was uniformly courteous, but 


his incredulity with regard to alleged appointments with 
Mr. Daly grew to be a painful idiosyncrasy. He suspected 
cards and took no messages. It got to be so that Mr. 
Daly himself lived in anxiety for fear of forgetting to 
notify Owen of expected callers. Howard Paul wound up 
a business letter to Mr. Daly with this flattering reference 
to Owen : 

"English stage-doorkeepers are the devil to deal with, but 
I think your man captures the cake — if not the card." 

Apropos of the maze that had to be traversed from the 
stage entrance to reach the manager's office, the expe- 
rience of a correspondent of the Detroit Post is related 
by himself : 

"Inquiring for Daly, they said he was in his office. I got a 
guide and started for it, for though I had been there before 
nobody should be so foolhardy as to try to find Augustin Daly's 
office without a robust and intelligent guide, and, if possible, he 
should also have an alpenstock and a St. Bernard dog. We 
started about 7.30. It is harder than it is to find the editor of 
Puck, and is somewhat like going under the Hudson River in 
the tunnel. We went around the block, entered a harmless- 
looking door, threaded an alley, entered another door, stepped 
over a tremendous dog, went through a little closet with seven 
people in it, entered a hall at the other end of which were illu- 
minated folding doors, exited here and sprang up a flight of 
steps to a landing, down more steps, past 13 dressing rooms, 
past some theatre flies, over some books on the floor, under 
something about three feet high that looked like the mast of a 
ship fallen down, through a sort of trap door at the left into a 
dark room. 'You had better go slow here,' remarked the guide. 
'Wait till I step and open the door.' I presently followed a 
gleam through a sort of work-shop, where I fell over a saw- 
horse. In another stairway I saw some Chinese lanterns and 
suits of armor. We went through six more rooms and up some 


stairs, and I was just regretting that I hadn't brought my 
lunch me when the guide knocked on a door and we were 
adm.tted by Mr. Daly himself. I know now what makes hi 
plots so mtr,cate. But what bothers me when I think of the 
labynnth .s that I don't remember crossing the street anywhere." 

Not less devoted than Owen, and altogether exetnplary 
through all the years, was "Patrick" (McCarthy) the 
prince of night watchmen. He it was who came to my 
brother at the Grand Opera House for a job, and remained 
ever after, to be one of his most esteemed friends and aids 
and one of the faithful, like "Owen," remembered in 
Augustm s w,ll. But the "character" of the establish- 
ment was undoubtedly "Richard" (Redding), certainly 
a descendant of some grand vizier, chancellor, or diplomat 
ot the Congo, whose duties were the handling of stage 
furn.ture and bric-a-brac, errands, sweeping and cleaning- 

.r mT °'^^*''°"'' "^^tly got up, he acted as butl"; 

^ I. u"?™ '■°°"- ^''-f"'"- ^^« correspondence, 
and although discouraged by Mr. Daly would continue to 
mflict ,t upon his "good boss." The subjects of his 
epistles ranged from an application for an advance of 
^5 because he had "a tuf wife to deal with" and required 
the money before he could go out on the road," to 
numerous misunderstandings with his fellow employees 
(white) whose dictation he resented, and family concerns 
ot the highest importance, which called at one time for the 
desperate expedient described in the following letter: 

"Mr. Daly. 

I would like you to let me off for about an hour. I want to go 

and secure a room for myself as I intend to Live alone the 

balance of my days. It comes to this after my working over 

wenty two years to make my family comfortable at one 

time I had ,0 children now there is only two Left & they are 


both Girls & growe up but of no use to me Whatever. I have 
clear proff to show where the fault is but will omit it at present, 
I wish to be able in their absence to bid good buy to the traitors 
tomorrow night in this way I want 3 passes to give them to come 
& see the show tomorrow night then I only want one hour to go 
home & get my trunk & a few things all on the quiet, this I 
must do sure without delay & I ask for $3.00 to help me out of 
this bad fix that a villain has got me in. 

Your most obediant 


Richard ultimately, many years after, died in the bosom 
of his family. 

It was in this season that Mr. Daly attached to his 
fortunes Mr. John Farrington, who, after serving in this 
theatre for many years, was taken to London and re- 
mained as business manager in Daly's Theatre there, 
until his death in 191 2. James Tait oversaw the mechani- 
cal part of the stage and John Moore was stage manager. 
Mr. Fred Williams, an expert writer of lyrics, assisted in 
the musical features which were now to be identified with 
this establishment. 

The presiding genius of the front of the house was, of 
course, Mr. John A. Duff, whose portly and commanding 
figure presided over the foyer, welcomed the members 
of the press, and discouraged with a stony look applicants 
for free admissions. A dapper person once cheekily 
approached the rail over which Mr. DuflF was leaning 
according to custom, and said he supposed that "pro- 
fessionals" were welcome. "What kind of profes- 
sionals.'"' queried Mr. DuflF. "This kind," said the 
cheeky individual, and leaping from the step, he turned 
a magnificent back somersault into the lobby, and then 
without waiting to see the eflFect vanished into the street ! 


Mr. Duff's happiness was to see an eager stream of people 
passing through the gate. When only a thin stream 
trickled through, to a play doomed to failure, he always 
repeated with conviction, "They'll come yet!" 

After the long run of "An Arabian Night," "The Royal 
Middy" was produced on January 29, 1880. This was 
an adaptation of Richard Genee's comic opera, the "See- 
Kadett," which had had an immense success in Germany. 
Miss Lewis was Fanchette the Zingara, who, assuming the 
disguise of a royal midshipman, led as brilliant a band of 
marine boy-warriors as were ever marshalled on the 
quarter-deck of a theatre. Eighty-six performances were 
given of this comedy-opera. 

On Saturday night. May 10, Mr. Daly produced his 
adaptation from the German of L'Arronge, "Die Wohltha- 
tige Frauen," to which he gave the name "The Way We 
Live." In it Mr. Drew and Miss Rehan were cast for 
the first time in comedy parts of the kind they afterwards 
made famous. It was a satire upon those society ladies 
who engage in charitable enterprises for worldly reasons, 
to the neglect of private duties — not a very novel theme, 
but easily adaptable to any modern community. "The 
Way We Live" was played twenty-one times, and the 
season closed on May 31 with "The Royal Middy" 
for the matinee and "An Arabian Night" in the evening; 
the company — divided into two parts, dramatic and 
musical — departing for a tour through the principal 
cities while the theatre was let to the Salsbury Trouba- 
dours with their pretty interlude "The Brook." 

During this season of seven months and a half, the new 
theatre had but one failure (the opening bill) and three 
unquestioned successes. With an established theatre such 
an experience would have resulted in a handsome balance 
at the banker's after paying all expenses, including the 


costly Louis XIV costuming of "Wives," and the gorgeous 
seventeenth century mounting of "The Royal Middy." 
But the new Daly's was not an established theatre ; it was a 
struggling beginner, and so the pecuniary balance of the 
season was on the wrong side. My brother's anxieties, 
of course, were very great ; but his eyes must have opened 
wide when he was now oflFered thirty thousand dollars 
for the balance of his lease ! The offer came through the 
lessor's agent, Mr. Dexter. It was declined. 

An exceptionally hot summer affected the tour of the 
company and of all travelling entertainments. Of Boston, 
he writes that the circus and baby elephant gave the 
musical company its quietus in the last week. In Chicago 
the manager met his friend General Sherman, just in 
from his headquarters at Washington, who wrote : 

"Dear Daly 

Am just in. Will take great pleasure in seeing your new play 
Arabian Night — and, better still, your own dear self. I am 
just starting out, but will fill the box at 8 or shortly after." 


The Season of 1880-1881. "Tiote" a failure. Reasons assigned for 
Daly's want of success. "Our First Families." "Needles and 
Pins" the first hit of the season. "Zanina" and the Nautch girls. 
Digby Bell. "Cinderella at School" a favorite in spite of the 
musical critics. A debutante's expenses. Salaries doubled. 
End of the season. "All the Rage." "Old Women of the Stage." 
Green Room rules. Play pirate ejected from the theatre. Books 
left over from the sale of 1878, disposed of. 

A MELODRAMA, "Tiotc," the scene laid in Wales, and 
introducing a romantic gypsy element, opened the next 
season on August 15, 1880. At least five new engage- 
ments were made for it, notably Miss Fanny Morant, Miss 
Emily Rigl, and Miss Virginia Brooks, a graduate of the 
Brooklyn Amaranth Society. Miss Rehan was Isopel 
the gypsy, and Mr. Drew the wandering Jack Ferrers. 
Some reminiscence of George Borrow and the fleeting 
vision of his heroine of the dingle may be discerned here. 
Notwithstanding brilliant acting and scenery and novel 
comedy touches, and the cordial and appreciative notices 
of the press, the play succumbed to hot weather and that 
undefinable something that will so often baffle theatrical 
hopes. One writer, unable to understand this failure, 
suddenly discovered that it was due to Mr. Daly's 
managerial autocracy and the public dislike of Caesars and 
Napoleons, as Instanced by the recent defeat of General 
Grant at the nominating convention In Chicago. Daly, 
It was alleged, conducted his theatres to suit himself, 
as If his motto were not "We study to please," but "I 
do as I please." But a very patent reason for the falling 



off of patronage might have been discovered in the absence 
of sprightly little Miss Catherine Lewis, who after her 
successive successes in "An Arabian Night," "Wives," 
and "The Royal Middy," turned into a star and took her 
attractive personality to a theatre down the street. Mrs. 
Gilbert and James Lewis made their debut in "Our First 
Families," by Edgar Fawcett. Fawcett's comedy ran 
for nearly six weeks, and was followed by "Needles and 
Pins," in which Miss Rehan, Mr. Drew, Mrs. Gilbert, and 
Mr. Lewis were first recognized as the famous quartet 
which for so many seasons endeared Daly's Theatre to 
the public. The play was an adaptation of Rosen's 
"Starke Mitteln" or "Strong Measures," and made the 
first distinct hit of the season, its run of a hundred nights 
being suspended only because Mr. Daly was under con- 
tract to introduce in a new opera a remarkable novelty, 
a troupe of Nautch dancers from India. They were 
brought over by Mr. Harry W. French (author of "Art 
and Artists") ; not without difficulty, however, as he 
had to obtain government permission. The troupe and 
their attendants were finally gathered together and sent 
by water to Southampton, where they took the North 
German Lloyd for New York. Mr. French wrote to Mr. 
Daly, impressing the necessity of having arrangements 
made for their comfort upon their arrival, in order to gain 
"a strong hold upon their hearts, for they are like so 
many three year old babies." There were magicians in 
the troupe who were accompanied by their cobras, and 
French wrote of the latter : 

"One of them is a little seedy and his charmer is very low- 
spirited, but we have hopes, as he still takes his regular rations. 
The rest are enjoying the voyage as heartily as possible under 
the circumstances, smuggled in a bag, which is smuggled in a 
box. I hope some Custom-house officer will put his hand 


in there. I think he will pass the rest of the chests. ... I 
have made up the enclosed memo, of the sort of accommodations 
the Hindoos will require. The most important thing is steady- 
heat. There should be three rooms, or a large room with three 
apartments, one for the women to sleep in, one for the men to 
sleep in, and one for both to eat, cook and sit in. They will 
want simple cot beds in a row and plenty of blankets, and 
some sort of cheap blankets or mats to sit on. In the large 
room give them a large, old-fashioned Franklin stove with three 
large bricks to arrange on the hearth instead of andirons, to 
cook ; and plenty of rice and curry powder and vegetables and 
flour. Most of them will eat mutton too, but never pork or 
beef. They must never come in contact with either in any 
shape or form. They drink tea, coffee, water, and are partic- 
ularly fond of milk. They want a few porcelain-lined pots and 
a few spoons for cooking, but simply plates and cups, as they 
eat with their fingers. Another very essential thing is a large 
sink of some sort in each bedroom into which they can get and 
spatter themselves all over with water every day." 

Mr. Daly hired an entire upper floor of Bangs' restau- 
rant, a building directly opposite the theatre, and fitted 
it up for their use. They were delighted with it and with 
the opportunity to sit at the windows and look out on 
Broadway. On the evening of January 18, 1881, they 
appeared for the first time before an American audience 
in an opera by Genee, adapted and produced under the 
title of "Zanina, or the Rover of Cambaye," in which 
Miss Joyce, Miss Rehan, Miss Fielding, Lewis, Digby 
Bell, and John Brant appeared. Genee's music was of a 
high order. There were remarkable scenic effects, one 
being a tropical tornado. 

This was the first appearance of Digby Bell with Mr. 
Daly, and his fine voice and natural comic powers were 
immediately appreciated. James Lewis had a congenial 
burlesque part, and he and Bell made the uproarious fun 


of the third act in the startling disguises required by the 

The snake-charmers were introduced in the first scene, 
a public square, handling their deadly pets and attended 
by an alert mongoose, which darted here and there, 
ready to pounce upon any refractory or evasive reptile 
and bring it to subjection. The magicians appeared in 
the second scene, an Indian bungalow, and after knife- 
throwing and other feats, gave the famous Indian bas- 
ket trick. A little lad, about twelve years old and per- 
haps five feet high, stepped into a round basket eighteen 
inches in diameter and less than a foot in height, and 
stooped over until his hands touched his feet. A shawl 
was then thrown over him, and this shawl was seen 
gradually to subside as if the boy were gradually melting 
into the basket. Upon the shawl being withdrawn, only 
the basket was visible ; and its cover being replaced, one 
of the men took a long sword and passed it several times 
through the side of the basket until the point showed on 
the opposite side. Then the shawl was again spread over 
the basket, was violently agitated, and then thrown aside 
by the boy, who stood up smiling before the spectators. 

The entrance of the Nautch dancers was now announced 
by music — a Hindoo orchestra seated in the rear. As 
to the dance, there was no exhibition of agility, and no 
pretence of figure about it. To the monotonous thrum- 
ming and twanging of the native musicians went on the 
unvarying shuffle, shuffle, shuffle of the bare feet, the 
graceful swaying of the body, and waving of the jewelled 
arms. The girls were comely (except the one with the 
nose ring, which was fastened to one nostril), and their 
eyes were humid, lustrous, and full of curiosity. The 
ebony lady of the group was the only one that smiled and 
seemed to enjoy the novel experience. 


It happened that the winter of 1880-1881, the greater 
part of which the Nautch girls spent in America, was one 
of uncommon cold that set in early and lasted long, and 
was very trying to the young women. They did not stir 
out before their debut except to the theatre, when they 
sat on the floor of one of the private boxes, hidden by the 
gilded lattice front, through which they peered at the 
young girls dancing in the ballet in "Needles and Pins" 
(a charming measure) ; they were fascinated by the vigor, 
swiftness, and grace of the Americans. They said to Mr. 
Daly through their interpreter, "We can do nothing like 

After the debut, my brother's wife and mine enter- 
tained the visitors at our homes. The demeanor of the 
Hindu women could not be surpassed for refinement, 
ease, and naturalness. Their bearing was that of persons 
accustomed to society, and the grace of their movements 
was conspicuous in response to every little attention. 
Their intelligence was such that without the aid of 
language our ladies appeared to be able to carry on an 
animated interchange of ideas with them. They re- 
mained in America until the end of the run of "Zanina" 
(a month), when they returned to their native country — 
all but one, who succumbed to the hardness of the winter, 
and died in this country. 

On March 5, 1881, "Cinderella at School" was pro- 
duced. Mr. Woolson Morse came to Daly with the 
manuscript of a musical play suggested by Robertson's 
"School," which, in turn, had been taken from the 
German. Morse was without musical education, but 
carried in his head a number of pretty tunes. Mollen- 
hauer, the leader of the orchestra, put the composer's 
ideas into form and did the harmonizing and orchestrating. 

The bright young women of the company who were 


working hard to deserve promotion knew that the 
manager could always be reached by a straightforward 
letter. Here is the budget of a debutante when the ques- 
tion of engagements for the next season came up : 

"My dear Mr. Daly 

Your good opinion makes me very happy. I feel quite safe 
in trusting my art future with you. ... I hate to talk about 
money, detestable stuff! but I must. I have managed to 
scramble through this season with the aid of what I saved 
from last ; that fund is now pretty much exhausted & I am living 
entirely on my salary. I will give you a fair estimate of my liv- 
ing expenses : 

Board and room $io. 

Laundress 1. 50 

Car fare .90 

Lunch during rehearsal 2. 

Escort home at night 1.50 

Toilet articles i. 

$16.90 total 
Allow a fair margin for proper clothing, dentistry, travelling 
expenses and board during summer's rest and you will have my 
lowest terms, of which I am gladly willing to give you the 


Like most of the young debutantes, the writer had 
begun at $15 and was now getting ^20. It ought of 
course to be noted that all the original salaries had been 
increased, and those of the young principals like Miss 
Rehan and Mr. Drew were doubled. The elders, too, 
who had made such concessions at the beginning, had to 
be satisfied. Looking back upon this period, it is delight- 
ful to know that, through all his distresses and disappoint- 
ments, my brother gave affectionate care to all who were 


dependent upon him not only for the daily wage, but 
for what was infinitely more precious, thoughtfulness and 
consideration : 

"September 28" 1880. 
Dear Governor 

Just a line to thank you for all your kindness and care of me 
during our Tour, and when I say I thank you I mean all and more 
than that word implies. 

I know I was a nuisance many times and felt it keenly, but 
I tried not to bore you any more than I could help. 

Yours sincerely 

The writer, Mrs. Gilbert, was one of the more effective 
of the persons in "Cinderella," and as Miss Zenohia 
Tropics, head mistress of the "Papyrus Seminary for 
Young Ladies," marshalled her fun-loving scholars not 
only with Amazonian firmness, but with a terpsichorean 
grace which had no equal. As for Lewis, he was a figure 
that might have stepped out of Rowlandson's eccentric 

Poor Morse's attempt at musical composition was 
hammered dreadfully by the musical critics of the great 
daihes, and that kept many people away, but the play 
as a play was such a good piece of fun, carried off with such 
a wealth of beauty, youth, and spirit, that it was pre- 
sented no less than sixty-five times ; not to large houses, 
nor even full ones ; but the manager was resolved to give 
it the whole remainder of the regular season. 

The season closed on April 30, 1881, and the house was 
given over to W. D. Eaton's comedy, "All the Rage." 

A letter from Lawrence Hutton this season says that 
he is delighted to think that Mr. Daly contemplates 
seriously a book on the "Old Women" (of the stage) — 
an "Old Women" series to be got up in size and shape 


somewhat after the style of the "EngHsh Men of Letters," 
and that he hopes they are really to have the benefit of 
Mr. Daly's pen. The manager's pen just then was em- 
ployed on several tasks ; one, a letter to a brother manager 
detected in tempting one of the company to leave, 
suggesting that he give notice in advance what particular 
performer he covets, and receive authoritative information 
of the individual's pay, so that the professional market 
may not be unduly and unnecessarily inflated. Another 
letter was to Mr. Elbridge T. Gerry, President of the 
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, express- 
ing the opinion that a proposed statute which interfered 
with the discretion exercised by that Society, in regard 
to permitting the appearance of children on the stage, 
was not called for ; the Society being entirely competent 
to deal with every case. Another composition was a 
notice posted in the Green Room explaining that the 
manager was compelled with regret to add a new fine to 
those already incorporated in the rules of the theatre, 
"for unwarrantably loud laughter, singing, or talking in 
the dressing rooms," and adding that "quiet admonitions, 
gentle warnings, and kind words go unheeded." Doubt- 
less, when the light-hearted debutantes gathered at 
night, their interchange of ideas became too audible. I 
believe that no addition to the treasury was effected by 
this new measure, and nobody resigned. Still another em- 
ployment for Mr. Daly's pen was a letter to the papers in 
reply to criticism of his right to eject from the theatre a 
person found surreptitiously taking notes of the music of 
"The Royal Middy." The ushers deprived the culprit 
of the notes he had taken, returned him the price of his 
ticket, and showed him the door. He threatened a suit 
for damages, but as the manager acted within his rights, 
nothing came of the incident but newspaper articles. 


Mn A. Oakey Hail, who was then writing for the press 
took up the managerial defence and quoted the legal 
authorities to sustain it. ^ 

During the summer some of the costly books which were 

Leavitt & Co. and were better appreciated. Thus 
Ireland's Forgeries," for which ^45 had been bid, now 

.Hoi ^'^^7"'" ' "'''^-'°"^^y low price; and thi 
44 volume Shakespeare brought 3748 in place of ^572. 


Third Season. New faces. "Quits." Miss Agnes Leonard. "Amer- 
icans Abroad." "The Youth of Louis XIV." "Odette." Miss 
Rehan's first important part. Helene Stoepel. "La Girouette." 
New aspirants. Lillian Russell. William Collier recommended. 
Plays. Musical drama by Mrs. Parnell. Daly in Uhrig's Cave, 
St. Louis. His opinion of that city; police mysteries. The 
author of "Dixie" in his old age. Benefit for Daniel Emmet. 
Journalistic appreciation of Daly's work. The season of 1882- 
1883. Long effort attaining its reward. "Mankind" — a Cock- 
ney melodrama. "The Squire." Miss Rehan's Kate Verity. 
Lewis' Gunnion a marvel. Miss Virginia Dreher's debut. "Our 
English Friend." Lewis balks at the principal character being 
given him; Drew demurs to its being taken away from him. 
Daly arranges all that. Lewis' ills and omens. Anniversary of 
Daly's first play, "Leah the Forsaken," December 8, 1862. 
First production of old comedy in this theatre — "She Would and 
She Would Not." Ilypolita fits Miss Rehan at all points. Drew's 
Don Philip capital. Production of the latest Parisian sensation, 
"Serge Panine." Admirable acting of Drew. The story does not 
elicit sympathy. At last the popular success arrives — "Seven- 
Twenty-Eight" catches the town. Tour in the West and to the 
Pacific. Fate of Shook & Palmer, once leaders of theatricals in 
New York. 

The new season^ opened with another failure, "Quits," 
from the German, in which everybody appeared, and Miss 
Laura Joyce, a wholesome and handsome English girl, 
was seen for the first time at Daly's. The fate of the play 
was prognosticated by the favor it received from the com- 
pany when read to them in the Green Room. My brother 
wrote to me : "It went with screams. They say that is a 
bad sign." The disappointment came after a very suc- 

1 1881-1882. 


cessful summer revival of "Cinderella at School," and not- 
withstanding an excellent performance by W. J. Lemoyne, 
also a newcomer, whose acting with Lewis was In the vein 
of true comedy. Further additions to the company were 
Henry M. Pitt, George Vanderhoff, Jr., Miss Helen Tracy, 
and Miss Marie Williams. There was a notable change of 
policy this season — the plan of a musical company In 
addition to a dramatic force was abandoned. It had not 
succeeded, and it was not resumed for a dozen years, 
"Quits" was played four weeks, and while it was on, a 
series of Wednesday matinees introduced to the public 
a new face — Miss Agnes Leonard, who appeared first in 
"Raven's Daughter," adapted expressly for her from the 
German of Dr. A. Wilbrandt, and afterwards in "Frou- 

"Americans Abroad" by Edgar Fawcett was put on 
next, but after seventeen representations the manager 
withdrew It and hurled his forces at its successor. This 
was "The Youth of Louis XIV" ^ from the well-known 
comedy of Dumas pere. Mrs. Gilbert was Anne of 
Austria, Leclercq Mazarin, Digby Bell Moliere, Drew 
Louis XI F, Miss Rehan Marie de Mancini, Miss Joyce 
Georgette, Miss Brooks Le Due d'Anjou, Miss Everson Char- 
lotte, Miss Bancroft Mdlle. de la Motte, Emily Denin 
Charles II, Miss Fielding Princess Henrietta, Vanderhoff 
de Guiche, and Lemoyne Danjeau. The story was of vital 
historical interest to Parisians, but excited little In New 
York, and all the managerial care to be archaeologically 
correct, the gorgeous palaces, the splendid costumes, the 
forest of Fontainebleau, the orangery, the hunt, and the 
brilliant array of courtiers were wasted. This was the 
third successive defeat of the season. The next play made 
a hit. 

1 Produced October 22, 1881. 


"The Passing Regiment" ^ was a Daly version of Moser 
and von Schonthan's "Krieg im Frieden" (War in 
Peace). The incident of a regiment billeted upon a rural 
town was neatly transferred to America. Drew, as 
Lieutenant Paul Dexter, and Miss Rehan, as the Russian 
ingenue, Telka Essoff, were brilliant in true comedy roles. 
While this lively piece was on its successful way, the man- 
ager was busy with the rehearsals of a remarkable pro- 

"Odette," Sardou's latest Parisian sensation, was no 
sooner underlined than theatrical and critical circles won- 
dered what new actress of rare gifts was to be engaged 
for the exacting and sympathetic role of the heroine, whose 
tragic story was so widely discussed when the brilliant 
master of stage art presented his creation to France. 
When this part, which demanded feeling, power, and pas- 
sion — governed by reserve — was given to Miss Rehan, 
there was, after the first pause, a realization that Mr. Daly's 
judgment was not at fault. It was true that she had 
never before essayed so weighty a task, and that her suc- 
cesses had been in comedy, but already a well-known 
English critic, Joseph Hatton, in his "America To-day," 
written after one of his visits to New York, had coupled 
her with Clara Morris and declared them to be " two of the 
most remarkable actresses now on the boards," and had 
added that Miss Rehan excelled in "true natural comedy." 

The part of Berangere reintroduced Helene Stoepel 
(Bijou Heron) to America. She was now a fresh and 
charming girl who had had since her childhood but one 
season's theatrical experience, an English tour with Bouci- 
cault. Her father, now musical conductor with his "old 
friend Daly," brought her with him from abroad. He 
had written : 

' Produced November lo, 1881. 


"She has, I find, many of her mother's ways and attitudes 
on the stage. It must however be so by nature, considering 
that she had no chance herself to see her mother act." 

The cast included Pitt as the Count, Henry Miller, Drew, 
VanderhoflF, Lewis, Leclercq, Parkes, Moore, Sterling, 
Roberts, Bedell, Mrs. Gilbert, and Misses Fielding, 
Howard, Vincent, Everson, Denin, Hapgood, Hinckley, 
and Perring. Pitt's illness immediately after the premiere 
required a change of cast, and young Miller was, not- 
withstanding his youth, given the Count, and acquitted 
himself with dignity and discretion. The drama was 
played seventy-seven times. 

The final production of the season was "La Girouette" 
by A. Coedes, Hennery, and Bocage, adapted by Fred 
Williams and Stoepel, introducing a charming young 
singer. Miss Francesca Guthrie, and a capital eccentric 
actor, William Gilbert, who became a fixture at Daly's. 

Among the applicants this season for engagements were 
Lillian Russell, then at Tony Pastor's and making an im- 
pression, and Mr. William Collier, who was brought to 
Mr. Daly's notice by his stepfather : 

Augustin Daly, Esq. "City, July 5th, 1882. 

Dear Sir, 

I take the liberty of penning you these few lines to ask if 
you have a vacancy in any department — as I would like to 
place my step-son before I go to my engagement. Call-Boy, 
office, usher or anything. He is eighteen years of age, a good 
penman and correct at figures. Why I would like to get him 
in a theatre is — he is not strong and cannot do very heavy 
work. If you have any such opening and will give him con- 
sideration you will confer a favor on 

Yours truly 

Edmund Collier. 
166 West 4th St., City." 


New plays were offered by W. F. G. Shanks, — a well- 
known journalist, who rewrote a short piece, "A Prince of 
Good Fellows," which he said had been played as early as 
1857, —by Bartley Campbell ("Mother and Daughter"), 
and by John A. Stevens ("Passion's Slave"). A literary 
curiosity was the dramatic attempt of Mr. Henry Morri- 
son, a well-known New York lawyer. Very interesting 
is the following communication from the mother of 
Charles Stewart Parnell : 

"May 15, 1882. 
To Augustin Daly, Esq. 
Dear Sir, 

I am extremely desirous of having the pleasure of making 
your acquaintance and of speaking to you concerning a musical 
drama I wish to produce, if agreeable, in whatever way is most 
desirable. I shall be extremely obliged to you if you will, 
when convenient, be so good as to name a time at which I may 
be able to see you. I go to my country place today by the 7 
P.M. train. My address is Ironside, Bordentown, New Jersey. 

Believe me to be, dear sir, truly yours, 

Delia T. S. Parnell. 

The play is not political, it is musical chiefly — dramatic, 
pathetic, and comic — with a continuous plot — and contains 

There was the customary tour of the Daly company, 
east and west. When it got to St. Louis, it played in 
"Uhrig's Cave," a sort of al fresco resort and open-air 
theatre. Augustin wrote concerning it and the St. Louis 
of 1882 : 

"If you can imagine the Punch & Judy stand on a large scale 
you have an idea of this theatre, where only the stage is under 
roof, where even the orchestra plays under the open sky, and 
where the entire audience sit on a pebbly sward and under the 
greenwood tree. It is quite a common occurrence for an iras- 


cible auditor to come back with his coupon and complain that 
his seat is behind a big tree. Dorney says it's the old story, 
'That post is in my way.' He thinks if there were a theatre up 
in the sky some grunter would come up and complain of his 
seat being behind one of 'them stars.' 

We have showers here on the slightest provocation. And 
on each shower the streets actually ooze mud. And such slimy, 
villainous mud. It is not new and wholesome mud such as 
you would expect from such a comparatively new city as St. 
Louis, but that spongy exudation such as you come across in 
the old, old towns of the old world, coming up out of the old, 
old cobble stones which have received and smothered the 
rains and the drippings and the filth of ages. But then 
St. Louis is a sort of old young City. It is youthful in years 
but it is full of wrinkled little lanes and byways such as you 
only look for in the old, old towns. The houses have a black- 
ened and aged and tumbled-away look — that is, those in the 
heart of the City, and the atmosphere half the time is dark and 
heavy, smoky and smutty. The Mississippi too, which cuts 
the town into an East St. Louis and St. Louis proper is a Tiber- 
ish sort of stream just here, full of eddies, yellow and thick 
with mud and drift, old tree roots, and the floating curiosities 
which fall into its bosom from its hundreds of miles of bank and 
levee. Strange mysteries it holds, and sometimes gives up. 
Hardly a day passes (not one since I've been here) that one or 
two dead bodies are not brought in by the colony of Rogue 
Riderhoods who gain a livelihood about here. Three days ago 
one of them brought ashore the body of a pretty young girl 
who had been missing a fortnight. She was only 14. She 
had come here with her sister from Denver. They were visit- 
ing friends. A party was to be given in their honor one even- 
ing, and she went out to make a call and post a letter before the 
guests came. She was never seen alive again. It has become 
one of the police cases of note, and is known as the Zoe Watkins 
Mystery. The bodies of two men were dragged in yesterday. 
One had been six months in the water, the other a few weeks. 
It is a queer town and the river is a strange old stream. I 


wish you could roam over some of these odd places with me. 
How we would plan romances out of our walks ! Think of such 
a title — The Mysteries of the Mississippi ! Where would 
Lippard or Reynolds or Sue be?" 

This is a very dark picture, and it is only just to say that 
it is the view of a manager who lost sixteen hundred dollars 
in two weeks there. For the benefit of those unacquainted 
with our early native novelists, it may be mentioned that 
George Lippard was a writer of thrilling tales in the middle 
of the nineteenth century, and is now less known than 
Charles Brockden Brown. Reynolds was the author of 
"The Mysteries of the Court of London," and a favorite 
with London apprentices, but hardly to be classed with the 
author of "The Mysteries of Paris." 

In Chicago Daly took great interest in a benefit planned 
for Daniel D. Emmet, "the father of negro minstrelsy," 
so called, as he organized the first black-face minstrel 
band. He was the author of the words and music of 
Dixie, and now, at seventy years, was compelled to earn 
his living with his violin in a Chicago dive, as Augustin 
was informed by Dr. G. A. Kane. 

This, from the Nezv York Dramatic News, may be quoted 
from among the tributes of the year 1882 : 

"The theatrical profession of America owes to Mr. Daly 
more than to any man living. The Wallacks and the Palmers 
are insignificant beside him, for Mr. Daly was not a mere pro- 
ducer. He was a creator. It was not a year after Mr. Daly 
opened his first Fifth Avenue Theatre that every manager in 
America found out .he had to change his manner of doing 
things. . . . With the production of Frou-Frou began a new 
era for the American stage. Then came his own plays — Hori- 
zon, the best of them all, Man and Wife, Divorce, Pique, and 
numberless others which enrich not alone himself but all the 
theatres of the country, and this was long after Leah and Under 


the Gaslight, which, in their day, also made fortunes for those 
who handled them. Mr. Daly turned out one star after 
another. . . . Agnes Ethel, Clara Morris, Fanny Davenport, 
Kate Claxton were all names that he made famous. When the 
Union Square theatre came into existence it had to depend for 
existence upon what the Fifth Avenue Theatre had made. 
Daly was the creator — Palmer the imitator. We say this in 
no derogatory spirit to Mr. Palmer, we only state a fact that no 
one can ignore. With Mr. Daly's financial ups and downs we 
have nothing to do. But he might have been a very rich man 
had not his whole energy and whole being been devoted to his 
art. He made money to spend it, not to hoard it. . . . Men 
with vim and nerve like Augustin Daly must always survive 
misfortune that would crush the average man." 

In the summer recess Augustin bestowed much money 
on redecorating his theatre. He vi^rote to me in August, 

"Everyone thinks it is loveliness. The Company assembled 
to-day 'on call' looking very sunburnt and very hearty. I am 
ready and eager now for the German comedy, for I have another 
stunning French play." 

Repeating the policy of a preliminary season with the 
success of the preceding one, "The Passing Regiment" 
was put on ; but it was followed on September 5 by the 
melodrama "Mankind." My brother loved a good melo- 
drama — one of those pictures in which there is no sub- 
tlety, only striking figures, lurid lights, gloomy abysses of 
shadow, and virtue on the rack; with malignant villainy, 
hypocrisy, and greed working their will until caught In the 
mill of the gods and satisfactorily demolished. Such was 
"Mankind," by Paul Merritt and George Conquest, which 
came to Augustin from Conquest's own "Grecian Theatre " 
In London. It was a pure London type, with supposedly 


English scenes, characters, and villains ; and it must be a 
lively imagination that can conceive more depraved and 
entertaining villains than those of London melodrama. 
The chief miscreant in this play was Groodge, a money- 
lender, aged loi, who strangles his old associate Sharpley, 
a stripling of 73, with a silk pocket-handkerchief. The 
principal occupation of the characters, good and bad, con- 
sists in endeavoring to get possession of a will ; that 
document is stolen by A, recovered by B, cribbed by C, 
and rescued by D in a wild scramble on the Thames em- 
bankment. The piece introduced several new members 
of the company : Mr. Yorke Stephens, Miss Helen Lay- 
ton, Miss Florence Elmore, Miss Hattie Russell, and 
finally Master Collier (regularly employed as call-boy, but 
exercising his talents in small parts) who was described in 
the cast of characters as ''''Albert Fitzallen, age 11 — oc- 
cupation, managing clerk — place of abode, 4th floor back, 
Bermondsey — disposition. Meek." 

As the play did not require Miss Rehan, Mrs. Gilbert, 
Mr. Drew, or Mr. Lewis, its startling pictures of the hu- 
man race did not attract very great audiences ; neverthe- 
less it was given forty times. Then came Pinero's "The 
Squire," a work destined to win a distinguished place in 
the annals of the theatre. The readers of Hardy's "Far 
from the Madding Crowd" recognized its plot in the 
story of Kate Ferity, the Squire and mistress of the farm. 
The part of Kate Ferity fell naturally to Miss Rehan, who 
gave as convincing a picture of the strong, self-contained, 
but loving and tender Englishwoman as she had given 
in "Odette" of the vivid Frenchwoman, The charm of 
this new impersonation was enhanced by the delicate shade 
of melancholy that pervaded its most hopeful scenes. Miss 
Virginia Dreher, a beautiful Southern woman, who had 
been recommended to Mr. Daly by the Western manager 


John W. Norton, now appeared as the gypsy girl Chrystie 
Haggerstone, playing the part with a spirit and fire that 
were instantly remarked as indicative of great promise. 
Charles Fisher, a patriarchal figure as Parson Dormer, 
might be said to have been reserved through a long stage 
career to personify "the mad parson." The surprise of 
the performance, however, was Lewis' Gunnion, the hard- 
ened old shepherd. 

The play was followed by a German comedy. "Our 
English Friend" was the name given by the adapter to 
"Reif von Reiflingen," intended by Moser as a sequel to 
his "Krieg im Frieden" — "The Passing Regiment." 
The play was without a plot, but by this time the audi- 
ences at Daly's were not particular as to plot, if only they 
were allowed to witness Miss Rehan, Mr. Drew, Mrs. 
Gilbert, Mr. Lewis, and the other members of the company 
in new and entertaining situations. 

In "Our English Friend" Lewis was cast for Digby de 
Righy, and for the first time was afraid of his part, which he 
thought was to be played in the "heavy swell" manner. 
He was particularly gloomy about certain love scenes. He 
complained to the manager: "I can't do it that way!" 
to which Daly replied, "Do it your own way." Lewis 
followed the suggestion with happy results. While he was 
thus troubled, Drewwas surprised to find that the principal 
part was not to be given to him, and he made a temperate 
appeal to the manager. He was assured that the part of 
Rigby was not light comedy, but eccentric. Drew with the 
utmost good nature accepted the role of Spencer, and went 
through it to the delight of the audiences during the long 
run of the piece. Lewis' gloomy view of his part and of 
existence just then may have been owing to the pensive 
regard he always had for his own health. He also suf- 
fered from portents : 


"One of my best Brahmas died suddenly on Friday from some 
unknown cause; and I had thirteen newly hatched chickens; 
and my dog thought he would kill one of them — still, I am 
not superstitious." 

This was written from his neat little country place at Good 
Ground, Long Island. 

December 8, 1882, recalled a great occasion, and Augus- 
tin, after our customary walk down to the Court House 
together, on December 3, wrote me next day : 

Dear Brother, "December 4, 1882. 

Friday is the anniversary of 'Leah,' our first. 'Tis 20 years 
since !" 

The company had been in training long enough for 
Augustin now to gratify his love for old comedies. Colley 
Gibber's "She Would and She Would Not" was produced 
on January 15, 1883, with Miss Rehan and Mr. Drew. 
Miss Rehan's tall and slender figure and her touch of 
bravado were well suited to the adventurous Hypolita, 
disguised in cavalier's dress, in pursuit of her discarded 
lover ; and Mr. Drew's Don Philip, perplexed and harassed 
by that designing young person, now indignant, now 
puzzled, now quizzical, was forcible and picturesque. 
Lewis was an ideal valet Trappanti, and Fisher an authori- 
tative Don Manuel. The lively waiting maid and confi- 
dante Flora was given to Miss Leyton, and Miss Dreher as 
Donna Rosara, and Miss Fielding as Viletta brought ex- 
traordinary beauty as well as intelligence to the cast. 
William Gilbert as the plausible Host, with his "neck or 
nothing," Yorke Stephens as Don Octavio, Bainbridge as 
Don Luis, Beekman as The Corregidor, and Webber as 
Soto, completed the cast. 

We remember that the comedy had been given at the 


E ■£ 


-J J 


first Fifth Avenue fourteen years before for Mrs. Scott- 
Siddons, and it was not until Miss Rehan's time that Mr. 
Daly found any member of his many and brilliant com- 
panies adapted to the part. 

Augustin was now ready to present a new comedy of 
manners from the French of Georges Ohnet, "Serge Pa- 
nine," one of the successes of the Paris stage. The title 
role demanded extraordinary gifts in the actor to keep the 
impersonation within the bounds of reality, and this power 
Augustin discerned in John Drew, to whom he com- 
mitted the part of Prince Panine with confidence. Drew 
gave a finished picture, as authoritative as Charles Cogh- 
lan's Due de Septmonts, a role in the same line. Miss 
Mary Shaw, a newcomer to the Daly ranks, was given the 
sympathetic part of Lottie, the victim not only of the for- 
tune-hunting-prince, but of a title-hunting mother. The 
latter, a strong part, was portrayed with vigor by Miss 
Fanny Morant, now back where she longed to be, under 
the Daly management. Miss Rehan assumed the role 
of Jeannelde Cernay. 

After expending upon this new play the infinite care 
which^he gave to everything he produced, the manager 
saw- it fail, and he tossed it away. To understand his 
sensitiveness about a failure, it must be understood that his 
personal labor was involved in every production. He had 
no]stage manager, — no producer, as the term is understood, 
to whom the duty of setting a play before the public was 
committed, no functionary who allotted the parts to the 
company and handed the sketches to the scene painters, 
the plans to the carpenters, and the costume plates to the 
mistress of the wardrobe, and then rehearsed and instructed 
the actors. And when all his labor was in vain, he felt 
keenly the waste of study and care bestowed upon a play 
by himself and by his conscientious company. 


But the present disappointment was destined to be the 
dark hour before the dawn. A new play ushered in that 
long period of success which is connected with the memo- 
ries of Daly's. "Seven-Twenty-Eight" was adapted from 
von Schonthan's "Der Schwabenstreich" — literally, 
"The Swabian Blunder," a localism expressing the inevi- 
table tendency of the most knowing mortals to make fools 
of themselves at least once in their lives. The farce had 
had a prodigious success all over Germany, and it was 
expected to furnish an agreeable wind-up for the season. 
The immediate and lasting impression it made could not 
have been anticipated. As usual, great pains were be- 
stowed upon the preparation. Not only morning, but 
midnight rehearsals were held. One letter asked me to 
come down at twelve at night to see the rehearsal with 
scenes. Those midnight rehearsals are well remembered, 
— the manager as unwearied, and the company as eager 
and alert at 6 a.m. as at the beginning of their labors. 
Being the only critic allowed on these occasions, to hint at 
refreshment was permitted to me — hence my pencilled 
reply to the above-mentioned note : 

"Will be there and thereabouts. Query : Coffee and cakes ?" 

That first night, February 24, 1883, will be long re- 
membered. As if the coming of something uncommonly 
good were in the air, the house was crowded, and so con- 
tinued night after night until the end of the season. 

Augustin now saw success in sight after a desperate 
effort of four years. If he loved rest, he could take it now. 
And we celebrated the victory in our own way ; on March 
I, 1883, he wrote : 

"We will begin our walks on Monday if you say so. Come 
down Saturday and see the house." 


The "house" was a sight to gladden any one. The 
quality of "Seven-Twenty-Eight" was lasting; after 
thirty years it keeps the stage, as fresh as at first, and 
the "book" is still one of the "best sellers" among act- 
ing editions. 

The tour of the Daly company began in Philadelphia 
with immense applause. The Bostonians were more se- 
date, and so irritated Lewis that he called them "deputies 
from the Knickerbocker Ice Company." Cincinnati was 
visited for the first time with an accompaniment of fire 
bells from a neighboring tower, succeeded by a thunder 
storm, but the play triumphantly survived both. Chi- 
cago, let it be said to its credit, preferred old comedy 
to new, and audiences that rivalled those of the opera in 
brilliancy assisted at "She Would and She Would Not." 
The Germans of Milwaukee crowded the theatre on the 
Fourth of July, and the military colony of Omaha turned 
out, or rather turned in, in force. In Denver the players 
were caught in a newspaper war, each side abusing the 
plays that the other favored ; but Augustin diplomatically 
soothed them all before he left. In San Francisco he saw 
Modjeska act for the first time. He thought her Mary 
Stuart was machine-like, adorned with French manner- 
isms, without soul or genuine feehng. 

While Augustin was away he heard of the breakup of 
the Shook & Palmer firm. Palmer retired from the man- 
agement of the Union Square Theatre to be succeeded by 
James W. Collier, a well-known actor. Palmer never 
boasted of being versed in plays or playing, but claimed to 
be merely a business man, capable of managing authors and 
actors upon a business footing. He was calm, dispassion- 
ate, and forbearing in his methods. His actors got good 
treatment from him, but no inspiration. He created 
nothing, and did not attempt to shape what others had 


created. He is remembered for urbanity and unruffled 
temper. Beneath a calm exterior his intimates knew there 
was a sensitive spirit. 

My brother returned from the Pacific coast full of plans 
for the next season of 1883-1884. 


The new season with another new piece, "Dollars and Sense." New 
members. Henry Miller and Helene Stoepel (Bijou Heron) 
marry. Miss May Irwin from Tony Pastor's. Rose Eytinge 
heard from. Widow of John H. Hackett. Joaquin Miller. Bret 
Harte's play. Boucicault. John Stetson. "Pique" and "Di- 
vorce." "Pique" kidnapped and murdered in England. ^^Birth- 
day dinner to Mrs. Gilbert. Pinero's "Boys and Girls." The 
public insensible to its merits. "Seven-Twenty-Eight" revived, 
to everybody's joy. Opening of Wallack's new theatre at Thirtieth 
Street and Broadway. Palmer regards theatricals as in a bad 
way. Brilliant revival of "The Country Girl" with Miss Rehan 
as an adorable Peggy. Account of the efforts to fit this old comedy 
for the stage. Garrick's work. Daly's work. The present fine 
cast. "Red Letter Nights" from the German. Miss Rehan's 
song and dance. Effort to interest W. D. Howells in adaptation. 
Bjbrnson, Mark Twain, General De Peyster. Henry E. Abbey gives 
up opera. The Lyceum Company with Irving and Terry come 
to America. Anecdote of Irving. 

The new season opened with another novelty from the 
German, "Dollars and Sense"— L'Arronge's "Die Sorg- 
lossen" ("The Heedless Ones"). The play was brought 
out on October 2, 1883. The public saw five new- 
comers : Miss Lizzie Jeremy, W. H. Thompson, Miss 
Mazie Marshall, Miss Jean Gordon, and Miss B^elle Brown. 
We miss from the company, however. Miss Helene Stoepel, 
affectionately remembered at Daly's in 1874 as Bijou 
Heron, and Mr. Henry Miller, who were happily married. 
Mrs. Miller retired from the stage. Her father returned 
to France, and his place as conductor was filled by Henry 
Widmer. One bright particular personage was engaged 
for forthcoming productions. This was Miss May Irwin, 



who had been playing at Tony Pastor's variety theatre 
and was "anxious to be upon the legitimate stage." A 
letter which introduced her described her as "bright, 
quite accomplished, a good vocalist and pianist, and brim- 
ful of fun, wit and repartee." This was not beyond her 
deserts, but far more than her modesty, which was as 
great as her talents, would have permitted her to claim 
for herself. She became the most striking and vivacious 
soubrette of Daly's Theatre. Miss May Robson was also 
introduced as a young lady "well educated and earnest." 
Miss Rose Eytinge, the heroine of Daly's "Griffith Gaunt" 
and "Under the GasHght, " wrote that she had "a super- 
stition that good fortune would come" to her if once more 
under his management. She was engaged. An interesting 
applicant for a position was the youngwidowof the eminent 
Shakespearian comedian, John K. Hackett, father of the 
late Recorder Hackett and of James K. Hackett. Mrs. 
Hackett had adopted the stage after her husband's death. 
Another lady, whose lot was far worse than a widow's, 
for her husband was in an asylum for the insane, — Mrs. 
Frank Hardenbergh, — wished to return to the stage "in 
order that poor Frank's property might be devoted to the 
support of himself and his child." 

New plays were submitted. Joaquin Miller sent one 
with a letter begging Mr. Daly "to read as far as the end 
of the third act and not further," if he found it did not suit 
him. Bret Harte, now our consul at Glasgow, wrote : 

"I have finished a play in three acts called 'The Luck of 
Roaring Camp.' The first act — or prologue as it really is — 
is an almost literal dramatization of my original story, except 
that the child is a girl instead of a boy. The two remaining 
acts, which take place in Paris, where the girl, grown a young 
lady, has been placed at school by her rough but devoted fathers 
of Roaring Camp, is of course a new conception. It is a comedy, 


naturally — the humorous situations dominate, but the rough 
element is never low comedy — nor is it ever obtrusive or pro- 
tracted. All my old characters appear : — Oakhurst, Stumpy, 
Kentuck and Skaggs. The principal is, of course, the heroine 
— a kind of intelligent 'fiUe du Regiment,' a sort of boyish 
ingenue — such as Chaumont of the Varieties or Samary of the 
Frangais would play in Paris now. I don't know what actresses 
you have 'to the fore' in New York; there are half a dozen I 
remember who could do it nicely. If Lotta would repress her- 
self a little she might. . . ." 

Boucicault had written a comedy, "Vice Versa," for 
Miss Martlnot — which he mysteriously called "the first 
in a flight of works to serve her as a repertoire," and 
further declared to be "the best of my screaming come- 
dies"; he offered it to Mr. Daly with Miss Martinot for 
the heroine. 

The success of the new Daly plays created a demand for 
the older ones. John Stetson of Boston, now manager of 
the one-time Daly's Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York, 
contracted for "Pique" and "Divorce" for a whole season, 
to be played with Agnes Booth as star, in all parts of the 
country not covered by another contract of Daly with 
Jane Coombs for the same pieces. George Wood, formerly 
of the Broadway Theatre, now Daly's, wanted "Under 
the Gaslight," "Round the Clock," "The Big Bonanza," 
and "A Flash of Lightning." It is strong evidence of 
the merit of the Daly plays that the demand for them con- 
tinues to this day. In passing, we may note that a stolen 
and mutilated version of "Pique" was played about this 
time in England at the Gaiety Theatre under the name 
of "Her Own Enemy," without reference to Daly's rights 
as author or proprietor. A letter from Colonel T. Allston 
Brown, author of "A History of the New York Stage," 
to Mr. Daly, says : "The play was terribly cut to three 


acts, and Ye Gods ! could you have seen the perform- 
ance !" 

Before "Dollars and Sense" ran its course, I got this 

brief note from Augustin : 

"October 20, 1883. 
Dear Brother 

I want you to come to the Brunswick tomorrow evening at 
6 : 30. I am giving a Birthday dinner to Mrs. Gilbert and I am 
sure you will like to make one of the few." 

The dear old lady accepted with modesty, dignity, and 
pleasure the greetings of the favored. 

Pinero's "Girls and Boys" was produced on December 
5 with every important member of the company in the 
cast, but it failed to please. There were wholesome air 
and sunshine in it, and the audience waited patiently for 
something to happen, and were mildly disappointed. The 
manager waited a week for some sign of public interest 
and then gave it up. "Seven-Twenty-Eight," the great 
success of the last season, had been reserved for such a 
collapse of the regular programme, and being now restored 
to the boards, ran until February 16, 1884. 

Christmas, 1883, at the theatre was celebrated with 
so much jollity and substantial recognition of faithful 
service, that the business force behind and before the 
scenes drew up a Happy New Year Address to the mana- 
ger. All theatre folks, however, were not quite so happy 
this Christmas, for the Standard Theatre (Sixth Avenue 
and Thirty-second Street) was burned on December 14 ; the 
employees were helped by a benefit given them by the New 
York managers on the 27th. A little more than a year 
before, the new Park Theatre (Broadway and Twenty- 
second Street) was destroyed by fire, on the eve of Mrs. 
Langtry's American debut. The Standard was rebuilt ; the 
Park was not. This year Wallack opened a fine new play- 

Ada Rehan in i 


house at Broadway and Thirtieth Street, opposite Daly's. 
The old Wallack's Theatre at Thirteenth Street was to be 
run as a "star" theatre and called by that name. Palmer, 
who as we have seen had retired from the Union Square 
management, in an interview published in the Herald 
pronounced New York theatricals to be "in a bad way," 
and congratulated himself upon being out of the business. 

A striking old comedy revival, "The Country Girl," 
took place at Daly's on February 16, 1884. When it 
left the hands of Wycherly in 1675, it was called "The 
Country Wife," and was as indecent as even the Restora- 
tion could tolerate ; and it would never have seen the 
light of a better day if it had not contained a female 
part which justified every effort to reform it. One such 
effort was made by Garrick in 1766, who produced it as 
"The Country Girl," with conspicuous alterations in 
scenes, characters, and dialogue. Thus the famous char- 
acter of Mistress Pinchwife became the young spinster 
Peggy Thrift, and Pinchwife became her guardian Mr. 
Moody, played by Garrick himself. The judiciousness of 
Garrick's work kept it on the stage until it came to be 
regarded in its turn as too broad for modern taste. 

It was now Mr. Daly's object to take up the old play 
and fit It for his public; and his success showed that 
coarseness does not add to the humor of a comedy. He 
edited Garrick's dialogue, but preserved all the gayety 
and charm of the situations. Before Mr. Daly revived 
the play It had not been seen for nearly fifty years. The 
right actress for the part needs not only youth, beauty, 
intelligence, and vivacity, but the faculty of displaying 
every side of girlish nature, and of being ingenuous, artful, 
hoydenlsh, demure, Innocent, timid, and headstrong, all 
at once. In the days we write of, there was none 
but Miss Rehan equal to It. To America the play was 


brought as early as 1879, t»ut was not played after 1839, 
when it was given at the Park Theatre with Miss Fanny 
Fitz Williams. 

The old comedy was now prepared and rehearsed during 
the long period of leisure afforded by the revival of 
"Seven-Twenty-Eight," and upon its presentation to 
one of those very large and very fashionable audiences 
which now honored Daly's on first nights, captured the 
public heart and remained always afterwards a standard 
attraction of the Daly company. The press instantly 
recognized the genius of the impersonation. 

To this brilliant revival, Mr. Drew, as Belville^ brought 
the highest polish of light comedy ; Mr. Fisher, as Moody 
the gruffness and mastery which the author intended 
as a foil to the fine gentlemen who bait him and to 
the dainty victim who escapes him ; and Mr. Parkes, 
as Sparkish (a study in costume for a water color), 
the vacuity of the inevitable fop of the period. Mr. 
Stephens, as Harcourt, was the pervasive friend and 
follower of old comedy. It is needless to say what 
beauty and soft decorum walked with Miss Dreher in 
the part of Alithea. 

This season, already rich in production, closed with 
still another new comedy from the German, Jacobson's 
"Kin Gemachter Mann," called by Mr. Daly "Red Letter 
Nights," and produced on March 12, 1884. The play 
was completely rewritten, and the Daly additions con- 
tained a scene which caught the town at once — that in 
which the youthful Tony (Miss Rehan), in order to break 
up the "international match" proposed for her, dis- 
illusionizes her foreign admirer by assuming the tomboy 
and romping through the nursery rhyme and dance of 
"Miss Jenny O'Jones." This impersonation following so 
close upon her Peggy, disclosed new phases of her gift for 


depicting the hoyden. What had been demure now be- 
came boisterous, and all the delicately guarded limitations 
of feminine wilfulness in Peggy were airily overstepped by 
the insolent Tony, and yet all was done without striking a 
single jarring note. The play remained until April 27, 
1884, when the brilliant season closed and my brother 
took the company upon the customary tour. 

W. D. Howells' comedy, "A Counterfeit Presentment," 
had a trial in Boston by Barrett. Mr. Daly proposed to 
the author the adapting of one of the German comedies, 
to which he agreed ; but after reading the play thought 
that the task of "naturalizing it" would take several 
months. Mr. Howells recommended some modern Italian 
comedies which he thought funnier, livelier, and better 
than the German, and more readily adapted, and sent a 
synopsis of a Spanish play, "most intense and powerful," 
besides recommending Bjornson's "Bankruptcy," which 
had a great vogue abroad. Mark Twain dramatized 
"Bob Sawyer's Adventures," and wondered if Daly would 
like to take a look at it. Hjalmar Boyesen, author of 
"Alpine Roses," had written another play and wished to 
see Daly about it; and General De Peyster composed a 
drama about Mary Queen of Scots, in which the blowing 
up of the Kirk-o'-field was to be the sensation. 

At the close of this season, and while Augustin was 
preparing an international surprise which shall be the sub- 
ject of the next chapter, theatrical affairs in New York were 
checkered. Henry E. Abbey had retired with immense 
losses from the ambitious directorship of the Metropolitan 
Opera House, and accepted a benefit tendered by the dra- 
matic fraternity in remembrance of his activity in their 
ranks. But a large patronage was secured for four weeks 
at the Star Theatre by the first visit of Henry Irving, 
Ellen Terry, and the Lyceum Company to America in 


October, 1883. Irving, by the way, had the peculiarity of 
not returning calls of ceremony. My brother was a little 
surprised at it, but Chief Justice Daly told me he had had 
the same experience, and had mentioned it to Booth, who 
told him that "Irving never called upon him or anybody 

SIXTH PERIOD: 1884-1888 


First visit of an American company to England. Toole's Theatre, 
London, July 19, 1884. Slaughter anticipated. William Terriss 
acts as Daly's business manager. Very conservative criticisms. 
Pallid reviews. Triumph with "She Would and She Would Not." 
Tokens of private interest. The victory. Greeting of the ad- 
venturers on their return. New faces — Miss Kingdon, Mr. 
Skinner, and Mr. Bond. "A Wooden Spoon." Pinero's "Lords 
and Commons" not a success. "Love on Crutches" at last holds 
the boards and the public. Remarkable impression made by Miss 
Kingdon. Death of my brother's children. Effect upon his own 
character the development of love and sympathy for all children. 
Henry Plunkett Grattan, founder of the American Dramatic 
Fund Association. 

No sooner had Augustin reestablished himself in America, 
than he determined to carry out a long-cherished project 
— that of taking his players to Europe. It was un- 
equalled for temerity, and not to be compared with the 
visits of foreign companies to America, which were so 
common as to be accepted as the proper thing, and were 
attended with golden results. Thus Irving was so con- 
fident of success that he simply doubled the prices at 
the Star Theatre, and even then could not accommodate 
the throngs pressing to gaze upon his celebrated "troupe." 
English managers, of course, knew of the Daly company ; 
but it was not certain that the Enghsh public knew or 
cared about it. 

The home press was stirred over the announcement of 
the adventure. It was said that Daly's company was 
the only one that could dare make the experiment, and 
that Daly proved by his present course that he pursued 



theatrical art for art's sake and not for money. It was 
recognized that he went wholly dependent upon his own 
organization, which was governed by his own methods, 
and was the outgrowth of a purely American and charac- 
teristically individual management — a company as 
delicately harmonized as the most proficient organiza- 
tion upon the English stage, combining the utmost thor- 
oughness of stage discipline with scrupulous care for 
artistic fitness in detail and ensemble. 

Daly took with him Miss Ada Rehan, Mrs. G. H. Gil- 
bert, Miss Virginia Dreher, Miss May Fielding, Miss 
May Irwin, Mr. John Drew, Mr. James Lewis, Mr. Otis 
Skinner, Mr. William Gilbert, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Le- 
clercq, Mr. Stapleton, Mr. Moore, Mr. Widmer, and Mr. 
Richard Dorney. Mr. William Winter accompanied 
Mr. and Mrs. Daly to witness the interesting debut of 
the first American company in London. They sailed on 
July 5, 1884, on the Alaska. A crowd went down to 
see them off, and the event was chronicled at length in 
the dailies. 

The opening night in London was at Toole's Theatre 
in the Strand, one of the smaller playhouses, but a fa- 
vorite and well known. William Terriss was admitted 
by Augustin to a share in the enterprise, and was business 
manager. He attended to the preliminaries with great 
enthusiasm. The selection of so small a theatre was 
deliberate : If the attendance proved to be small, it would 
not look so small in it; besides, Augustin meant that the 
English public and his players should meet face to face, 
as it were, in the intimacy of a small auditorium. Before 
the opening, on July 19, warm greetings came from 
many friends — ■ among them Mary Anderson and Henry 
Irving, David Belasco and Clara Morris. Augustin 
wrote me on his birthday (July 20) an account of the 


momentous event. There was a large representation of 
the press ; many Americans were in the stalls and circle, 
and the pit and gallery were filled by Britons. The 
applause throughout was very general, there were double 
recalls after each act, and at the close the audience waited 
and called for Daly. But the humor of the piece, " Seven- 
Twenty-Eight," did not carry away the audience, and 
the result remained in doubt. 

The press notices were what may be termed conserva- 
tive : "Everything seemed forced; there was no natural 
humor, but an abundance of eccentricity and quaint- 
ness ; Miss Rehan's playing not without its own peculiar 
charm ; Mr. Drew, an earnest and passionate lover ; but 
as to Mrs. Gilbert and Mr. James Lewis, the gentleman 
is by far the most successful, his dry sententious manner 
giving happy effect to the ludicrous Americanisms which 
belong to his part; a wiry Italian ballet master has a 
clever representative in Mr. William Gilbert; the en- 
tire company play well together so that everything goes 
smoothly, applause was generously plentiful, and the 
first night's performance was closed in the most encour- 
aging and enthusiastic way." ^ 

"Players, out of their own individuality, can compel 
mirth ; and it was much in this way that the exception- 
ally clever comedians from Daly's Theatre forced a 
favorable impression of a piece which, without their con- 
tributing genius, would be as dull as a Quaker's homily; 
Miss Rehan's style is entirely new to the English stage — 
decidedly captivating and yet curious and puzzling. 
She follows no conventional method of elocution, is 
delightfully droll and takes her audience captive from 
the first scene ; if she is a clever sketcher of American 
manners, she presents an oddity in coquettes that is 

^ Morning Post. 


fresh and acceptable as a study of transatlantic society ; 
Mr. Lewis, a comedian of evident ability, made all his 
scenes tell with unmistakable effect; Mr. Drew is able 
to say dryly humorous things in the style of the typical 
American satirist and is amusing, but is not our beau ideal 
of a stage lover; the piece is highly successful, due to the 
performers. A section of the audience seemed to think 
a number of Americans in the house unnecessarily bois- 
terous in their reception of the performers and the piece." ^ 
One defender of the British Isles from the bold invader 
delivered a broadside which few American corsairs could 
have received without going instantly to the bottom : 
"English playgoers had no reason to be enamored of the 
productions of the American stage, and the achievements 
of Mr. Daly's company will not efface, though they may 
modify, this impression ; although they are said to hold 
the first rank in New York as exponents of comedy, 
the entertainments they provide must be pronounced 
intellectually inferior to what might be seen at the Hay- 
market, the St. James, or the Court Theatre; want of 
intellectuality, or even of sincerity appears to English 
eyes the distinguishing feature of American stage work, 
and the performance of Mr. Daly's company, admirably 
as its members are disciplined, is not free from this weak- 
ness ; the interest aroused by the actors was necessarily 
of a personal kind only, was keen among the critical first 
night audience, but there is too much preparation, too 
little spontaneity — though on the other hand they are 
free from the French vice of affecting to take the audience 
into their confidence. Miss Rehan's impersonation is 
an example of the defects enumerated. It has little of 
the girlish artlessness associated with the ingenue of the 
English stage. On the contrary, it is stiff, pedantic, 

^ Chronicle. 


frequently ungraceful from over-affectation, and alto- 
gether, we should hope, a libel upon American maiden- 
hood. It is not without its qualities, however, for a 
certain dry humor plays under the drawhng intonation 
of the actress and relieves her somewhat elephantine 
movements. But justice would not be done to Mr. 
Daly's well-organized company if mention were not made 
of a certain quaintness and dryness of humor running 
through their entire performance. This had evidently a 
special charm for the audience of Saturday night, as it 
will doubtless have for other audiences to come." ' 

After noting such a critical appreciation as the above, 
we can understand why American actors had little desire 
to encounter an English welcome, and why Mr. Daly's 
hazarding it for himself and his company was, as Mr. 
Wallack declared, "the pluckiest thing ever done." 

Although the play chosen for the debut was too novel 
to take with the London critics, the charm of the players 
was irresistible. Crowds soon came nightly to applaud 
the unconventionality of Miss Rehan, Mr. Drew, Mrs. 
Gilbert, and Lewis. The receipts of the first week were 
disappointing, but the second began with a rush, and the 
appearance of appreciative articles, one by George 
Augustus Sala in the AthencBum, and others in the Court 
Journal, the Telegraph, and Truth annoyed the London 
professionals by their tone. Terriss said the success of 
the season was assured. Henry Labouchere was there 
with his wife, and said that the play was not the thing, 
— the people would come to see the company in any- 

"Dollars and Sense" was the second production, and 
Miss Rehan introduced her Jenny 0' Jones scene from 
"Red Letter Nights." It gratified the critics less than 

^ Times. 


"Seven-Twenty-Eight," and they quite missed the point 
of some of its humor, but the company, individually and 
collectively, drew out such handsome expressions as to 
augment the astonishment of native theatrical folk. The 
audiences were invariably in raptures. The business was 
not considered profitable by Augustin, but it surpassed 
that of the Lyceum and Wyndham's. Augustin was put 
up at the Athenaeum and Reform Clubs, and went to 
the Laboucheres for the week-end at Twickenham. 
Irving was doing Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night or What 
You Will," which Punch described as "Twelfth Night or 
What You Won't." 

The hit of the season was "She Would and She Would 
Not." The recalls were extraordinary, and when the 
play ended nobody seemed disposed to go home, but 
demanded the whole cast over and over again. The 
press was now unanimous. All were enthusiastic, de- 
clared that the interpretation was a revelation, and 
regretted that there was no company in London that 
could play old comedy as well. It was the triumph Daly 
had hoped for — that his company would be applauded 
in the very birthplace of the old comedy. Every paper 
urged the return of the players for another season. The 
audience shouted their demands from crowded houses. 
The company had won in the supreme test of the modern 

So the first visit of an American company was a suc- 
cess. The public was attracted from the first, and the 
press yielded heartily. The Impression it gave was that 
the visit was an event of the first importance in the 

dramatic history of the period. 


The first city to welcome the adventurers home was 
Philadelphia, and they were tumultuously received. But 


the great event was the meeting of the company and their 
New York pubHc on the night of October 7, 1884; each 
familiar face was hailed. Several new claimants to favor 
were in the bill — Miss Edith Kingdon, Mr. Otis Skinner, 
and Mr. Frederick Bond. 

The opening play was "A Wooden Spoon," adapted 
from von Schonthan's "Roderick Heller." The story 
exaggerates some phases of modern journalism, modern 
politics, and feminine campaign activities — the latter 
always irritating to the German mind. 

The new recruits became from this night established 
favorites. Miss Kingdon had had but one prior expe- 
rience on the regular stage, at the Boston Theatre, but 
she brought to her new school and teacher quick intuition 
and modest confidence. The strong vein of dramatic 
force in evidence through all Mr. Skinner's comedy indi- 
cated the bent of his talent and the course it was after- 
wards to follow. Mr. Frederick Bond began on this 
occasion his New York career as an adaptable and versa- 
tile performer. 

The number of the young who were ambitious of attach- 
ing themselves to this school increased every year, not- 
withstanding the known severity of the discipline of the 
theatre. We have noticed that the English admired 
and praised that discipline as exhibited in every perform- 
ance of the Daly company. 

"A Wooden Spoon" attracted the Daly audiences 
until November 15. A new play of Pinero, "Lords 
and Commons," was the next production. After ten 
days' trial it was found to be unattractive and had to be 
withdrawn, but the event hastened the appearance of 
one of the most delightful comedies connected with the 
memories of the theatre; this was "Love on Crutches," 
which had lain upon Mr. Daly's desk for nearly two years. 


Stobitzer, in writing "Ilire Ideale" ("Their Ideals"), 
intended gently to satirize those highly organized beings 
who disdain realities. To Miss Rehan (Annis), Miss 
Kingdon {Mrs. Gwyn), Mrs. Gilbert (Mrs. Quattles), Mr. 
Drew {Justin), Mr. Skinner (Roverly), Mr. Lewis {Quat- 
tles), and Mr. Gilbert {Bitter edge), with Misses Gordon 
and Trevor and Messrs. Bond and Beekman in minor 
parts, the success was due. Margery Gwyn was Miss 
Kingdon's first important part. With its control of the 
critical situations, its witty lines conveying the impres- 
sion of sagacity and finesse, its manifestation of the 
loyalty of woman to woman, it was so easily a favorite 
with the audience that it might be said that in any hands 
it could play itself and be more than merely effective ; 
but when to a role already admirable Miss Kingdon 
brought the freshness of youth, the spell of beauty, and 
a charm of manner all her own, it became captivating. 
"Love on Crutches" continued until the 7th of February. 
While this tide of success was flowing in, and every wish 
that my brother's heart can be supposed to have formed 
was in course of realization, one of the greatest misfor- 
tunes which can visit a human being fell upon him. 
During the Christmas season of 1884 his two boys, eleven 
and fourteen years of age, developed diphtheria and 
steadily grew worse. The disease made rapid progress 
in spite of skill and care. Tracheotomy was resorted to 
in the last extremity to save the lives of the children, 
but failed. On Monday, January 5, about eleven 
o'clock in the morning, this letter was brought me : 

"Dear Brother, 

My little Austin has just died. He seemed to fall asleep 
— it was only a little after quarter past ten here, but I am sure 
he has wakened forever in heaven." 


And after I left him that night came this : 

"Dear Brother, 

Leonard has joined his Httle brother. It was a Httle past 
half after ten." 

After this dreadful blow, my brother's heart was filled 
with a great love and solicitude for all children. He 
seemed now to behold in all the young, and especially in 
little wanderers, his own. I have seen him stop a crying 
child in the street to inquire its trouble, take it by the 
hand and restore it to its home. In countless ways he 
sought to help the helpless. 

Perhaps no individual not holding exalted office in the 
state or nation ever received such widespread expressions 
of sympathy from the public press and from private 
circles as my brother did on this occasion. His sorrow 
seemed to have become the public concern. In the little 
family of his theatre there was not a countenance which 
did not reflect his grief. 

That deserving institution known as The Actors' 
Fund, which cares for the poor player, had its annual 
benefit at Daly's Theatre on January 8, 1885, and the 
companies of Wallack, Palmer, and Mallorys (the Madison 
Square) took part in it. Connected with this subject 
the following, relating to the earliest institution of the 
kind in America, will be read with interest. It was re- 
ceived by my brother while in London : 

"15 Jubilee Place, 

Kings Road, Chelsea. 
August 29th, 1884. 
Dear Mr. Daly, 

I leave herewith the articles published in the 'New York 
Sunday Age' which give me the proud right of claiming to be 
the Founder of 'The American Dramatic Fund Association' 


incorporated at Albany N. Y. by the Senate and Assembly 
April II, 1848. 

I also enclose a letter from my old friend Geo. Augustus 
Sala, the well-known staunch advocate of all that benefits our 
profession on either side of the Atlantic. I very gratefully 
accept your kind offer to head a testimonial for me. Such an 
endorsement of my claim upon those I have worked so faith- 
fully — and I am happy to add — successfully to place in a 
position of which they may feel proud, coming from a gentle- 
man who knew me as actor, author and editor some years ago, 
will be most valuable to me. You asked me last night what 
heading (would) be most serviceable to me. I append one 

(Testimonial to H. P. Grattan 

In recognition of his services in procuring the passage 
of the Act of Incorporation of 'The American Dra- 
matic Fund Association' through the Senate and 
Assembly at Albany, New York, April nth, 1848) 
I little thought, when working heart and soul for my brother 
actors, I should make this appeal, but I suffer at times so 
severely from heart disease that at times I am incapacitated 
not only from acting but from resting. 
Wishing you every possible success 

Believe me dear Mr. Daly 
Yours faithfully and obliged 
Henry Plunkett Grattan. 

One of the original staff of the 'London Punch.' Member of 
the Dramatic Authors' Society and, as part proprietor and 
editor of 'The New York Sunday Age,' the advocate and 
founder of the American Dramatic Fund Association. 
A. Daly Esqr." 


The interesting season of 1884-1885. Farquhar's "Recruiting Offi- 
cer." Why it requires judicious treatment for our stage. Letter 
of Charles P. Daly. A new comedietta, "A Woman's Won't." 
Dissociation of Mr. Daly's father-in-law Mr. Duff from the theatre. 
He helps his son James to manage The Standard. Production of 
one of the most entertaining of modern farces, "A Night Off." 
It carries the season to a close. A notable event — return of Miss 
Clara Morris to Daly with a version of Dumas' "Denise." It 
fails to make a success. Tour of the Daly company. Account 
of Augustin Daly's appearance in 1886, and his characteristics, by 
a Boston writer. Letter from Chicago. Visit to San Francisco. 
How Daly overcame the ticket speculators. Some American and 
other plays. Preparations for the production of Pinero's "Magis- 
trate" next season. Pinero's doubts about Drew as Colonel 
Lukyn. Daly has no doubts, and Drew makes one of the hits of 
his life. 

*'LovE ON Crutches" was succeeded on February 7, 
1885, by George Farquhar's "Recruiting Officer," written 
in 1705, and played in New York as early as 1732, then 
in 1750, again in 1792, and lastly in 1843. Its first per- 
formance in the days of Queen Anne was by a famous 
cast — Colley Cibber as Captain Brazen, Wilks as Cap- 
tain Plume, Estcourt as Sergeant Kite, and the immortal 
Mrs. Oldfield and Mrs. Mountfort as Sylvia and Rose. 
In Garrick's time Margaret Woffington made her London 
debut as Sylvia. At the Park Theatre in 1843 Sylvia 
was played by Mrs. Hunt, who afterwards married 
John Drew the elder and became the mother of the young 
actor who now, 1885, appeared at Daly's as Plume. 
Miss Rehan was Sylvia, Miss Virginia Dreher Melinda, 



Miss May Fielding Rose, Miss May Irwin Lucy, Miss 
Jean Gordon Nell, Skinner Worthy, Parkes Brazen, Lewis 
Kite, Fisher Justice Ballance, Stapleton Scale, Gilbert 
Bullock, Wilks Coster, Bond Tummas, Beekman William, 
and Master Alfonso Tycho. 

For color and action, the play will be always attrac- 
tive if mounted with the taste Daly now bestowed upon 
it; and its humorous scenes will survive the elimination 
of many of its lines ; for the effort to refine the coarseness 
of its wit is, as lago says, "like plucking bird-lime from 
frieze." The revival excited great interest among old 
actors and old theatre-goers. John Gilbert wrote Mr. 
Daly that he had seen it at the Tremont Theatre in Boston 
over fifty years before and wished to come to a matinee at 
Daly's. Chief Justice Charles P. Daly, an authority 
upon the drama as well as law, literature, history, and 
geography, wrote : 

"84 Clinton Place (8th Str) 

New York, February 13th, 1885. 
My dear Mr Daly 

The first theatre in America, as far as known, was opened 
in this City with Farquhar's comedy of 'The Recruiting Officer' 
on the evening of the 6th of December, 1732, eighteen years 
before the arrival of Hallam's Company, by whom, Dunlap in 
his 'History of the American Theatre' says, the drama was 
introduced in America. All that I know further about this 
first theatrical representation in this Country is that the part 
of Worthy was played by Mr. Thomas Heady, a perruque 
maker of the City. 

In my monograph 'When was the drama introduced in 
America,' printed in 1864, and of which I regret to say I have 
not a copy to send you, I give an account of two companies 
who played in this City in the years 1750 and 1 75 1, prior to the 
arrival of Hallam's Company which was in June 1752. 

A Mr. Hilton who is interested in the formation of a Dunlap 


Publication Society has written me a letter respecting the re- 
printing of my monograph, and if it is reprinted I will give all 
that I have subsequently ascertained respecting the theatre 

of 1732-1733. 

Very truly yours 

Chas. P. Daly. 
Augustin Daly Esqr." 

"The Recruiting Officer" afforded Miss Rehan an op- 
portunity to appear in the third of the series of cavalier 
parts in which she was so successful, and in one of which, 
Hypolita ("She Would and She Would Not"), she had 
captured the London public. Farquhar's comedy was 
given until February 28, then Gibber's for a brief 
period, followed by Wycherly's. Mr. Skinner was now 
Harcourt in "The Gountry Girl," and Miss Annie Hooper 
Lucy. In "She Would and She Would Not" Mr. Skin- 
ner was cast for Don Octavio, Miss Kingdon for Donna 
Rosara, and Miss Gordon for Flora. A farce called "A 
Woman's Won't" was played with "The Gountry Girl" 
by Lewis, Skinner, Mrs. Gilbert, Gilbert, Miss Fielding, 
and Miss Irwin. It had been a successful trifle in Ger- 
many and France, and now became a favorite here. 

During this season Mr. John A. DufT retired from Daly's 
Theatre to join his son James, who had taken the lease 
of the new Standard Theatre on Sixth Avenue. Augustin 
purchased the interests represented by his father-in-law 
in Daly's Theatre, and thereafter remained its sole pro- 
prietor. During the summer he expended a large sum 
in erecting a fireproof wall between the stage and the 
auditorium, and in other improvements to secure the 
safety of the audience. 

We now come to the production (March 4, 1885) of 
"A Night Off," a version by Daly of "Der Raub der 
Sabinerinnen" of Franz and Paul von Schonthan. If 


we can Imagine audiences really "convulsed with merri- 
ment," as the reporters say, and recall critics Inditing 
their reports under the headline "A Bonanza of laughter," 
we can get some Idea of the impression made by this ex- 
quisite succession of uproariously funny as well as deli- 
cately witty scenes. Miss Rehan as Nisbe, Miss Dreher 
as Angelica, Mrs. Gilbert as Airs. Babbitt, and Allss Irwin 
as Susan, Mr. Drew as Jack Mulberry, Mr. Lewis as 
Professor Babbitt, Mr. Skinner as Damask, Mr. Leclercq 
as Snap, and Mr. Fisher as Lord Mulberry, made the first 
success of this remarkable play in America. The Incom- 
parable variety of Miss Rehan's ingenues no repetition 
of such characters could exhaust. Drew's part was like 
the Rovers and Young Rapids of old comedy, and was 
spiritedly given. Miss Irwin made her greatest hit at 
Daly's as the ubiquitous and enthusiastic Susan. 

On the last night of this extraordinarily successful 
season, April 20, 1885, a special epilogue written by 
Edgar Fawcett was spoken by all the characters, and the 
company took Its leave for a summer tour which was to 
embrace two weeks In Philadelphia, two In Boston, one 
in Brooklyn, and five In Chicago. After this they were 
to open in San Francisco on July 13. 

Miss Clara Morris returned to Mr. Daly's management 
on April 20, 1885, for the second time since she had ceased 
to be a member of the regular company. We remember 
that in 1875 she appeared In a version of Mosenthal's 
"Deborah"; and now she was to create the part of 
Denise in the drama of that name by Alexander Dumas. 
The cast of the play, besides Miss Morris as Denise, 
Included Helene Stoepel (Bijou Heron) as Martha, 
Blanche Thorne as Clarisse, Effie Germon as Madame de 
Thausette, Mrs. Thomas WhIfFen as Madame Brissot, 
Miss Agnes Perring as Madame de Pont/errand, A. E. 


LIpman as Fernand de Thausette, Frank Losee as Thou- 
venin, H. A. Weaver as Brissot, Parkes as Pontferrand, 
and Wilks as the Servant. The play as a play was a model 
of the unities. The action occurred on one spot in one 
day. The dialogue was direct and incisive, and the story 
was touching. With all this, and the fame of the star 
to recommend it, it did not make the success anticipated 
by actress and manager. Had it been played by Miss 
Morris ten years before, it might have made a wonderful 
impression. It was not the part for a mature actress. 
The criticisms were generally favorable, one or two most 
appreciative, but there were exceptions in which the 
physical fitness of the star for the role was oiTensively 
dwelt upon. Miss Morris was suffering at this time from 
an accident to her foot and ankle which she had sustained 
in Boston, and which almost crippled her, and from an 
attack of neuralgia — all of which she pluckily disre- 
garded to keep her engagement with the public. 

As to the pecuniary results of this engagement, they 
were far above those of her season in this same theatre 
when it was the old Broadway and under a different 
management seven years before, and she played Jane 
Eyre with all the vigor and charm of her prime. 

The present tour of the Daly company was marked 
by extraordinary tributes from the press. It was said 
that his company honored the stage at home and abroad, 
exhibited delicate tact, continual ease, the graces of good 
society, and a perfect mastery of their art; and that the 
Irving company, in its particular field, did not reach to 
so high a degree of excellence. It is not out of place here 
to quote what Leander Richardson, writing from New 
York as correspondent of the Boston Herald, said of 
Augustin's personal appearance, manner, and history in 


"Among all New York managers old and young there is 
none whose face is so seldom seen and so unfamiliar to the 
general public as that of Augustin Daly. Mr. Daly has been 
managing theatres in the metropolis longer than any other 
man now alive, possibly barring Lester Wallack. In the double 
capacity of author and director his name has become better 
known in all likelihood than that of anybody else in the same 
line of work. Yet not one person in a hundred meeting him 
on Broadway would know him at all, and no stranger would 
suspect him of being the well known man he is. To look at 
Daly anybody would take him to be 32 or 33 years old, but if 
he isn't past that time of life he must have been a full-fledged 
manager when he was about eighteen. He never airs himself 
in public and he never even comes before the curtain of his 
own theatre unless compelled to do so by the positive demands 
of the audience. Daly's position as a manager is at the pres- 
ent time in all probability more desirable than that of any other 
man in the United States. All this is the result of the most 
untiring industry and the most complete tenacity of purpose 
that I have ever seen exhibited and, if Mr. Daly's success in 
life teaches anything, it is that he who starts out with a definite 
purpose and steadily seeks to accomplish it through devotion 
to duty must in the long run win. Augustin Daly used to be 
a newspaper man in the days when the Bohemian Club flour- 
ished and held their bacchanalian symposiums at PfafFs. 
Daly was in those days a tall, slender youngster in delicate 
health. He was an exceedingly unpopular man with the 
writers who used to pretty nearly control things. Daly would 
not travel with any of them. He was telling me not long ago, 
to what an extent journalism had improved since the days he 
worked in that field. Then, he said, a writer had to put in all 
his time and command peculiar facilities to earn $60. per week, 
while nowadays there are writers who are paid for their work 
upon a number of papers and have little difficulty in clearing 
from $7,000. to $15,000. a year. 

On first nights Mr. Daly is generally called before the cur- 
tain before the play is over. When he comes out, tall, slender. 



pale and usually embarrassed, about half the audience say 
'Who is that? It can't be Daly.' . . . They look upon a 
youthful appearing man who is negligently dressed and who has 
obviously just been at work upon the scene. He is generally 
dusty, and not infrequently there is a big dab of whitewash 
or some other color rubbed from the scene upon some part of 
his clothing. Personal appearance is something Mr. Daly 
has never studied, and if it were necessary that he should wear 
a blue blouse in preparing his stage for the view of the public, 
he would accept a call before the curtain in that costume. 

Unlike most theatrical managers who go in for making 
extensive friendships in order to help their receipts, Mr. Daly 
believes in conducting himself with as much regard for his own 
privacy as would be expected of ... a man occupying a 
high position in any other calling." 

This year Boston's poise was completely destroyed. 
"A Night Off" caused the audience to roll about ecstati- 
cally, and then cheer Daly and wave their handkerchiefs. 

From Chicago he wrote : 

"We had a glorious opening here last night. Love on 
Crutches made the biggest hit of all. All the papers are unan- 
imous. I had two calls — even greater than the Company 
calls, and, as in Boston, they cheered me. This attention on 
the part of the public is quite intoxicating — in a mild way. 
But I am sobered by the thought that those two little souls 
who had grown of late years to enjoy my successes even more 
than their papa did are no longer here to share my gladness." 

In San Francisco Daly was confronted by a combina- 
tion of theatrical managers which declined to admit his 
company to their houses except upon equal sharing terms, 
when he was getting in the great cities of the East sixty- 
five to seventy per cent, and the enormous cost of trans- 
portation to the Pacific justified even better terms. He 
refused to submit to their demands, and to their aston- 


Ishment hired a minstrel hall in Bush Street (left out of 
the calculations of the Trust) and played there to jammed 
houses while the combination was feeding on air ! 

In the course of this eventful year, Daly did the 
American playwrights and the American playgoers signal 
service. He broke up an establishment in Chicago for 
the sale of pirated copies of popular plays, and his act 
led to the formation of a protective society of managers, 
publishers, and authors ; and he invented and put in 
operation a scheme to defeat speculation. He had been 
a consistent foe of that form of monopoly, even obtain- 
ing judicial recognition of the manager's right to exclude 
from his theatre purchasers from sidewalk operators. 
But those traders had so many ways of eluding detection 
in buying seats at the box-office to sell at a hundred per 
cent profit on the streets, that Augustin devised the fol- 
lowing plan : The purchaser of seats for a particular 
night received simply a slip of paper with a number on it, 
exchangeable at night for the actual ticket purchased. 
As speculators could not sell slips containing merely a 
numeral, and no indication of the number or location of 
seats, they retired from the field. 

Plays came this season from Robert Buchanan, Henry 
Guy Carleton, Mrs. J. Campbell Verplanck of Philadel- 
phia, and Mrs. Burton Harrison. The celebrated Thomas 
Nast broached the subject of an entertainment in which 
he might appear and exhibit his facility in caricature. 

The aspirants for a place in the Daly company were 
numerous this season. Among them was the daughter of 
Joaquin Miller, and Mr. Brander Matthews wrote to Mr. 
Daly in favor of a very young daughter of the late Harry 
Beckett, comedian, "Knowing how hospitable you have 
been to the children of Mrs. John Drew, Matilda Heron 
and other favorites of the public and knowing too that 


in your theatre the girl will be in better company and will 
be better taught than anywhere else." Edwin Booth in- 
troduced Herr Briining of the Residenz Theatre, Berlin 
(a member of the company which had supported Booth 
during his engagement there), who was now seeking an 
opening on the English stage. 

One of the oldest, as well as one of the faithfuUest of 
those who had shared my brother's fortunes, left the 
scene forever this year: "Poor old Beekman. How we 
will miss him. The little he had to do he always did well. 
We could have better spared a better man," wrote the 
anonymous "Fellers What Be's Around." 

Augustin was planning at this time his "Life of Mar- 
garet Wofhngton," a personage for whom he had a ro- 
mantic attachment, though she had died tragically upon 
the stage nearly half a century before he was born. 

My poor brother had not yet got out of the shadow of 
his great affliction. On August 15, in a long letter 
covering many matters, I find this passage : 

"For the first time in all my journeyings I come home to an 
empty nest. It will be years before I can ever talk or write 
to you of the feeling that comes over me, day and night — 
when I am alone — and think upon my absent boys." 

One of the firmest believers in Daly's star of destiny, 
W. J. Florence, was himself an actor of almost infinite 
accomplishments, and he brought to Daly's summer 
season, 1885, his Captain Cuttle, Pinto P. Perkins, and 
Bardwell Slote, assisted by his wife (Malvina Pray 
forty years before, and now alert as ever) in Susan 
Nipper, Miss Matilda Starr, and Mrs. Gilflory. The 
theatre had been lavishly embellished since the close of 
the last season. From first to last Daly spent a fortune 
upon this property in improvements and decorations. A 


row of Parisian boxes was erected at the back of the par- 
quet, and the doors were ornamented with wood carv- 
ings representing scenes from the favorite plays of the 
theatre — a costly novelty which none of the general 
public had time to observe. 

Pinero's capital farce, "The Magistrate," was rehearsed 
in Philadelphia. Augustin urged me to run on and give 
him suggestions. The boy part, Cis Farrington, would 
have been played by a girl according to custom and be- 
cause of the difficulty of finding boys fit to act — male 
adolescents are usually a shame-faced lot in public — 
had not Pinero engaged Hamilton Bell for the part, and 
expressed his distaste for a woman playing a boy in a 
modern piece. Bell was capital. Pinero had some doubts 
about Drew in Colonel Lukyn : 

"With regard to Mr. Drew, if that gentleman can give us 
anything like what I want Col. Lukyn to be and what for the 
effect of the piece he must be, why, by all means, let him play 
it ! What reason can I have for objecting ? All I have said 
and still say, is that I fear Mr. Drew cannot give us the Lukyn 
we want, and that Mr. Fisher perhaps can. And there I have 
left the question with you. ... I shall be very glad to hear 
that you are not angry with me past redemption. 

Sincerely yours 

Arthur W. Pinero." 

Daly adhered to Drew, who made a display of new 
ability and power that surprised everybody but his 


"The Magistrate" opens season of 1885-1886; a furore. Brander 
Matthews' letter. General Porter's effort to get places for the 
opening. First Shakespearian revival in this theatre. Cast. 
Oakey Hall's anecdote. This version of the "Merry Wives" pri- 
vately printed with a fac-simile of the first quarto. Winter's 
historical preface. Modernization and sumptuousness. Ought 
the Wives to be richly apparelled .? Fisher as Falstaff. Benefits; 
how got up. "She Would and She Would Not." "Nancy & 
Co." Daly commended for his adaptation. Close of the season. 
Performances by Miss Rosina Yokes and her company, including 
Brandon Thomas. The Daly company sails for Europe, this 
time to invade Germany and France after revisiting London. 

On October 7, 1885, "The Magistrate" was produced. 
The crush to witness it was very great, and as the late 
comers thronging the lobby heard the first bars of the 
overture they almost "rushed" the ticket-taker's gate. 
The fame of its popularity in London had preceded the 
play. Arthur Wallack told the newspaper men on his 
return from England that Daly had secured the only 
success of the season, Pinero had reserved it for my 
brother in recognition of his excellent production of 
"The Squire" and his faithful attempts with "Boys and 
Girls" and "Lords and Commons." The play was 
unquestionably worthy of the favor it received. Up- 
roariously funny and scrupulously clean, it was a model 
of healthy entertainment. The theme of modern farce 
invariably involves some concealment, deception, dis- 
covery, pursuit, and hair-breadth escape. The problem 
is to invent a plausible excuse for all this without resort 
to our French neighbors' expedient, conjugal disorder. 



Brander Matthews, who had seen the play in London, 
wrote to Augustin : 

"It seems to me — and I have seen it now three times — 
one of the best farces in the Enghsh language. This is high 
praise I know, but I mean it. I think that in parts it is much 
better acted by your company than by the fine company at the 
Court. Mr. Skinner for example made a great deal more of 
his part than did Mr. Kerr ; and the whole second act appeared 
to me to be more briskly and brilliantly acted here than there." 

The crowd on the first night has been described. 
General Horace Porter had written in September : 

"Greeting on your return and congratulations on your mar- 
velous and deserved success," 

with a request to have seats saved for him for the opening. 
Later, Augustin was admonished that the request had 
evidently been overlooked : 

"is Broad St., New York. 

^ ^. Oct 2d 1885. 

Dear Sir 

To engage three orchestra seats for your opening night next 
Wednesday, I tried to take Time by the forelock by going to 
the box-office the day before the time advertised for beginning 
the sale of tickets, but I found that Time had evidently had his 
hair cut and the forelock was gone. The youthful financier 
in the safe retreat of the box-office looked at me from the small 
hole of his vantage-ground and informed me that all the good 
seats, meaning the front part of the orchestra, had already been 
disposed of. I asked him if he thought you had much influ- 
ence with the administration and could help me. He was 
evidently not apt at conundrums, and looked like a person dis- 
posed to take the papers and reserve his decision. He satis- 
fied himself with a statement of facts, namely, that you were 
in Phila. I told him I had myself seen you there at the Conti- 
nental Hotel, and that you did look for all the world like a man 



who was in Philadelphia, but I ventured the hope that you 
might return, that even the Prodigal Son returned, and that 
you might still be in time to serve me. He evidently felt that 
you would not stand much chance of seeing that play yourself 
unless you returned pretty quick. He was, to be truthful, 
very polite, but my faith was so shattered in his ability to do 
anything for me, that I have decided to add to the weight of 
your managerial tribulations by writing you and asking you 
to reserve if possible three orchestra seats for the opening night, 
close down to the front, even if it brings our knees close up 
against the big drum. I want to be near enough to see the 
wrinkles in Mr. Lewis's coat. . . . 

With kindest regards to your theatrical family, 

Yours very truly, 

Horace Porter. 
Augustin Daly Esqr." 

While the prodigious success of "The Magistrate" 
continued, the manager devoted every day to the prep- 
aration of his first Shakespearian production at this 
theatre, "The Merry Wives of Windsor." If my readers 
remember, it w^as a feature of the first Fifth Avenue 
Theatre (1872). Now, as then, Fisher was the Falstaff^ 
Lewis Slender^ and Mrs. Gilbert Mistress Quickly. 

Daly's Fifth 

Daly's Theatre 

Ave. Theatre 


Nov. 1872 


Sir John i 


Charles Fisher 

Charles Fisher 


B. T. Ringgold 

Hamilton Bell 


D. Whiting 

John Moore 


James Lewis 

James Lewis 


George Clarke 

John Drew 


Louis James 

Otis Skinner 

Sir Hugh 


Wm. Davidge 

Chas. Leclercq 

Doctor Ca 


W. J. Lemoyne 

Wm. Gilbert 

Host of the Garter 

Owen Fawcett 

Fredk. Bond 



Falstaff^s page 

Mistress Ford 
Mistress Page 
Anne Page 
Mistress Quickly 

Daly's Fifth 

Ave. Theatre 

Nov. 1872 

George DeVere 

H. Burnett, Jr. 

J. R. Mackey 

Jennie Yeamans 

W. Beekman 

F. Chapman 

Miss Fanny Davenport 

Miss Fanny Morant 

Miss Sara Jewett 

Mrs. G. H. Gilbert 

Daly's Theatre 



Geo. Parkes 
John Wood 
H. Roberts 
Bijou Fernandez 
Wm. Collier 
E. P. Wilks 
Miss Ada Rehan 
Miss Virginia Dreher 
Miss Edith Kingdon 
Mrs. G. H. Gilbert 

Fisher was a worthy successor, but in no sense a copy, 
of Hackett, the most noted Falstaff of the- American 
stage, who had many imitators after his departure from 
the theatre of this world. Oakey Hall tells of one in a 
letter to Daly this year : 

"One day when I was trying a case before his (Hackett's) 
son the Recorder, a Philadelphia actor ^ whom I only recall as 
the husband of Charlotte Barnes and who had a deep Forrestian 
voice (so in vogue once) came into the Courtroom and took (a) 
seat on the bench beside the Recorder, and during a lull in the 
proceedings said in his deep voice (to be heard all over the Court 
room, but intended as an aside) 'John, I've come to inquire about 
your father's patent Falstaffian stomach. Who has it .'* I'd like 
to buy it.' In a moment the Courtroom burst into a roar and 
the actor retired in triumph, for what actor does not enjoy a 
laugh for an exit.'' I am now just where you began — living 
by my pen and skirmishing among the newspapers for the tra- 
ditional pittance and magazines and rehearsing Triplett. I 
hear that you greatly flourish. Good, 

Heartily, the old 

O. K." 

» Perhaps E. S. Connor. J. F. D. 


The costumes for this revival were designed by Hamilton 
Bell from approved authorities. A facsimile of the first 
quarto (1602) in photo-lithography, bound up with the 
present prompt-book, was printed for distribution to the 
first-night auditors. Mr. William Winter wrote a pref- 
ace for it. 

The sumptuousness of this production and the modern- 
ism of the acting were criticised. The spectator, it was 
said, would be charmed by Miss Rehan and Miss Dreher, 
but would never suspect that these dazzling young 
beauties were intended for those noted gossips whom 
FalstaflF himself — and his tastes were not fastidious — 
admitted were neither young nor beautiful. Drew too, 
it was observed, was exquisite in dress and a courtier in 
carriage, and Skinner a swaggering young prig who might 
be the lover of his own daughter Anne. 

All this might be excusable in a very young journalist 
to whom forty is a patriarchal age in man and to whom 
there is no youth in woman after the fifth lustrum. As 
to the costuming, the merry wives and their husbands are 
people of substance. Ford and Page being described as 
having "legions of angels" and being "all gold and 
bounty," and Falstaff proposing to bleed them through their 
wives and to make them his exchequers — his East and 
West Indies — and trade to them both. The wives are 
described as ruling their husbands' purses. The costumes 
of the wives were copied from the Boydell plates. 

As to modernism : The Daly players were expressly 
trained to be natural in speech, manner, and action In 
old comedy, and it Is safe to say that under that instruc- 
tion they came nearer to a reproduction of the play as 
Shakespeare staged it than by affecting an artificial 
method. The lines of the play suggest nothing stilted. 
It Is questionable whether the rhythmical chant once 


adopted by some performers in delivering blank verse, 
and referred to by Gibber in his "Apology," Ghapter IV, 
and by his editors in the notes, represented what was 
heard even in tragedy in the days of Elizabeth and James, 
or that it was other than an affectation of a few per- 
formers. I heard something like it in William Wheat- 
ley's delivery and later in that of Mrs. Scott-Siddons, 
but no one else thought it attractive enough to acquire. 

In the majesty of his person Fisher was created for 
FalstafF. No short, round man, no dumpy sot, could 
impose upon as many people of distinction as Sir John 
did, or continue to have his lack of every virtue con- 
doned and to find his roguery, instead of exciting detes- 
tation, covering his victims with derision. Fisher's 
voice, too, was one of singularly tender quality. His 
description of his suffering in the buck-basket was almost 
tragic. His modulated utterance at times seemed indis- 
tinct, but his action supplied the words. In his glance, 
too, rested much of the effect of his performance. His 
Falstaff explained the problem of a character which could 
not help being weak and wicked or, being found out, 

Brander Matthews was moved by this production to 
say : 

"Beautiful were both the Merry Wives and beautiful was 
sweet Anne Page — indeed I do not think I ever saw three 
prettier women on the stage together than Miss Rehan, Miss 
Dreher and Miss Kingdon. Beautiful too were the costumes 
and the scenery, especially the first act. 

The thought which possessed me chiefly toward the end of 
the performance was this : — How the critics would tear the 
'Merry Wives' to pieces if it had been a new American play! 
They would be unanimous in declaring much of its humor cheap 
and flippant and many of its scenes altogether too farcical for 


comedy. Fortunately Shakespeare was not an American 

One of the best things in the performance on Thursday — 
it seems to me — was Mr. Bond's Mine Host of the Garter; 
it was delightfully unctuous and rollicking." 

"The Merry Wives of Windsor" was played until 
February 13, 1886. During that time the company 
volunteered for the benefit of the Actors' Fund, this 
time at the Madison Square Theatre, now managed 
exclusively by Mr. A. M. Palmer. On every occasion of 
a benefit the part contributed by each actor is really 
voluntary, and an act of individual benevolence. An 
announcement of the proposed benefit is posted in the 
Green Room of each theatre with an invitation to the 
members of the company, willing to participate, to sub- 
scribe their names. After the names are signed, the play 
is selected and cast by the manager. This time, as in- 
variably, every member of Daly's company volunteered. 
The second act of "Love on Crutches" was contributed, 
while Palmer's company gave the first act of "Engaged" 
and Wallack's the fifth act of "The Rivals." 

A brief revival of "She Would and She Would Not," 
with Miss Rehan and Mr. Drew in a 'curtain-raiser' 
called "A Wet Blanket/' followed Shakespeare, and was 
in time succeeded by a short season of "The Country 
Girl" with Mrs. Gilbert and Mr. Lewis in another lever 
de rideau^ "A Sudden Shower" ; and then the final novelty 
of the season, "Nancy & Co.," was introduced to a de- 
lighted audience on the evening of February 24, 1886. 

The adaptation of this very original play from the 
German farce by Rosen, transferred the scenes and the 
characters to New York, and necessitated a complete 
rewriting of the book, as in the case of all the German 
plays. The brilliant comedy action immediately won 


the critics and the public. Of Mr. Drew's comedy work 
it is certain that no praise could be too high ; its finish 
and lightness lent to the scenes between him and Miss 
Rehan such effect that an accomplished writer observed : 
"It is always a happy fortune when Miss Rehan and Mr. 
Drew play opposite each other. It would be difficult 
to name two comedians who, when pitted against one 
another in a play, so accentuate and develop the humor- 
ous points and intentions of each other." 

To Daly as adapter was attributed the success of the 
play itself, for having so cleverly treated his materials 
and so ingenuously localized the "argument" that it 
"became his comedy for all practical purposes," He was 
praised for unrivalled cleverness in dialogue as well as 
for the creation of innumerable bits of action which gave 
sparkle to the situations. He was commended for "the 
absolute mastery which he has obtained over the condi- 
tions of stage representation." The question, what share 
Mr. Daly had in these adaptations, was answered : "The 
facts are that he takes the salient points of the original, 
invests the different parts with new characteristics suit- 
able to his company, and so alters the language that when 
the piece is presented before the New York audience, it 
practically contains only the germ of the original idea"; 
and it was afftrmed that "Mr. Daly adds the delicate 
touches of humor and sportive bits of business that mark 
him as easily the first dramatist in America." 

With this novel and brilliant comedy (on the last 
night of which a special epilogue was spoken by all the 
characters) the seventh season of Mr. Daly in this theatre- 
and the sixteenth season of his management was brought 
to a triumphant close. This was on May i, 1886. The 
curtain fell on the night of the ist of May only to rise, 
the following Monday night, upon an entertainment 


differing greatly in kind, but thoroughly in keeping with 
the reputation of the theatre — the plays given by Rosina 
Vokes and her own company. Miss Yokes, the survivor 
of a famous company, was now Mrs. Frederic Clay, 
and the leader of a most agreeable company of artists. 
Mr. Brandon Thomas, afterwards well known as the 
author of the farce "Charley's Aunt," was her leading 
man this season. Weedon Grossmith was irresistibly 
funny in "A Pantomime Rehearsal." Miss Yokes' 
season continued six enjoyable weeks, and then Daly's 
Theatre was closed while his company, after a brief 
spring visit to Philadelphia and Boston, paid their second 
visit to the British Isles and a first trip to the continent. 


The second visit to London. The Daly company at the Strand 
Theatre. Warm greetings of the press. "A Night Off" greatly 
applauded. Affectionate welcome for the players. "Nancy & 
Co." a still greater success. Competition of every theatre and 
star in London to contend with. List of attractions. Social 
success of the Company. Irving's supper in the Beefsteak Room 
at the Lyceum. Performance at Brighton. William Black. 
Royalty visits the Strand. "A Night Off" given by request. 

The visit to London in 1886 was in response to the hearty 
invitation given in 1884 to return and gratify the newly 
aroused interest of the English people. On May 27 
the company opened at the Strand Theatre with "A 
Night Off." The press was altogether with the players 
and the play: "Handled with exquisite delicacy of 
touch by the actors one and all" {The Times). "They 
play Into each other's hands with a grace and precision 
delightful to behold. Apart from its distinct and Indi- 
vidual merits, the company's performance has a general 
smoothness and spirit which cannot fall to afford the 
highest satisfaction to an educated and observant audi- 
ence" {Morning Post). "It was like a greeting to dear 
old friends, and In spirit at least there was a hearty shak- 
ing of hands across the footlights with Mr. Lewis and 
Mrs. Gilbert, Mr. Drew and Miss Rehan, Mr. Skinner 
and Miss Dreher and their clever companions" (Era). 
With regard to the conditions In America favorable to 
development of theatrical art, the Era observed: "No- 
where Is greater regard paid to the sex" (than in America), 
"and this of course is reflected upon the stage. Where 



women are placed upon a nearly equal status with men 
in personal liberty, in social intercourse, and in intel- 
lectual attainments, comedy is likely to flourish ; and if 
the comedy of America has hardly yet taken the highest 
place, there is little doubt as to its ultimate develop- 
ment, influence and power." The Pall Mall Gazette 
said that the company had probably no equal outside 
of Paris, 

The company waited anxiously behind the scenes for 
their cues on that eventful first night. The crowd to 
face was no longer the American colony ; it was emphati- 
cally British. Lewis was the first to be recognized. 
Before he spoke there was a shout, and then from the pit, 
"Glad to see you back!" amid cries of welcome. It is 
at the close of the first act that Mrs. Gilbert enters, 
followed by Miss Rehan. This time the latter remained 
behind to let Mrs. Gilbert have her individual greeting. 
It came with a will, and the old lady, thinking she was 
sharing it with her young associate, turned to look back, 
found she was alone on the stage, and realized that the 
welcome was all her own. Her emotion, as she turned 
again to the house, could be plainly perceived. Then, 
at Miss Rehan's entrance, the house rose. At the end 
of the play the audience, instead of leaving the theatre 
immediately, remained to give the company five recalls, 
to demand Mr. Daly, and to make him talk — which he 
did after his own embarrassed fashion, but very much 
to the point. 

The admiration excited by the performance of the 
opening play was, however, surpassed by the appreciation 
of the acting in "Nancy & Co." which evoked frantic 
applause. Its dialogue was praised as singularly bright 
and happy, epigrammatic, witty, and appropriate. The 
Saturday Review said : "There is not now in London an 


English company as well chosen, as well trained, as bril- 
liant In the abilities of its Individual members, or as well 
harmonized as a whole, as the admirable company which 
Mr, Daly directs. They suggest the Comedie Fran^alse 
at its best when it is not frozen stiff by Its own chill dig- 
nity. Every performance shows that they are controlled 
by a single mind strong In the knowledge of Its own aim 
and ability." The Pall Mall Gazette declared : "London 
will be duller when they return to their native land." 

The members of the Daly company who were the sub- 
ject of these unstinted praises and who, it ought to be 
said to their credit, kept their heads during It all, were 
Miss Rehan, Mrs. Gilbert, Miss Dreher, Miss Kingdon, 
Miss Irwin, and Miss Sylvle, Mr. Drew, Mr. Lewis, Mr. 
Skinner, Mr. Leclercq, Mr. Bond, Mr. Gilbert, and Mr. 
Parkes. It must be remembered, in order to appreciate 
the compliments they received, that they were pitted 
against the Lyceum company with Henry Irving and Miss 
Ellen Terry at its head ; the French company at Her 
Majesty's, with Damala and Mdlle. Jane Hading; Her- 
man Vezin in "The Fool's Revenge" at the Opera Co- 
mique ; Coghlan and Mrs. Langtry at the Prince's ; 
Wilson Barrett and Miss Eastlake at the Princess ; 
Miss Carlotta Leclercq and Eben Plympton at the 
Royalty ; George Grossmlth and Miss Leonora Braham 
at the Savoy in "The Mikado"; Mr. and Mrs. Kendal 
at the St. James ; Misses Kate Rorke, Rose Leclercq, 
and Lottie Venne at the Vaudeville; Dixey in "Adonis" 
at the Gaiety; Beerbohm Tree at the Haymarket; 
Hawtrey at the Globe; Mrs. John Wood and Arthur 
Cecil at the Court; Charles Wyndham at the Criterion; 
Marie Tempest, Rose Hersee, and Pateman at Drury 
Lane; Henry Paulton at the Comedy; Terriss at the 
Adelphi ; Grand Opera at Covent Garden with Albanl, 


Scalchi, and Maurel, and the spectacles at the Alhambra 
and the Empire. 

This was an array of the very greatest stage attractions 
of the time in the very height of the London season, and 
the fact that into this arena Daly led his host and came 
off victorious, proves more than any words the quality 
of his company. 

During their long stay in London the company were 
made much of socially. Irving gave a supper in the 
famous Beefsteak Room of the Lyceum Theatre, to which 
Mr. Daly, Miss Rehan, Mrs. Gilbert, Miss Dreher, Miss 
Irwin, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Drew, Mr. Skinner, and Mr. 
Leclercq were invited, and where they met Miss Ellen 
Terry, Miss Barnes (a niece of Canon Barnes and a recent 
debutante at Toole's), Lord Ronald Gower, designer of 
the Shakespeare monument at Stratford, Comyns Carr, 
and the famous London editors who had so frankly recog- 
nized the merit of the Daly people. The invitation was 

cordial and informal : 

"29 May, 1886. 
My dear Mr. Daly, 

We will have supper on Thursday at ^ past eleven & if the 
ladies & gentlemen whom I had the delight of seeing act today 
will honor me with their company it will be a real pleasure to 
welcome them. Please convey to them one & all my respects 
& greeting. I remain Sincerely yours 

Hy. Irving. 

I wish this were *A Night Off' that I might see your play 

"8 July, 1886. 

My dear Mr. Daly, 

I shall be very glad if you are still able to spare me a box 
for Saturday next. I would like to offer it to Sir Dighton Probyn, 
who is the Prince of Wales' right hand man. 


By the way, the Prince is honouring me with his company 

to supper on Saturday, July 24, and I hope that Miss Rehan 

& you will also honour me. 

Yours sincerely 

H. Irving." 

A formal invitation followed next day "to remind." 
The cordial farewell Irving and my brother took of each 
other (they closed their season on the same night) is 
evidenced by Irving's last letter before he sailed for a 
vacation in America : 

"31 July, il 

My dear Mr. Daly, 

With all my heart I wish every good fortune to you and 

your inimitable friends. I hope that by and by we shall all meet 

often. The address I spoke of to you — the dog man's — was 

Edwin Nichols, Victoria Wharf, Warwick Road, Kensington. 

But I have a Bull pup for you, and if you will give particulars 

to W. Arnot, Lyceum Theatre, he will take care of it till you 

want it. 

Very sincerely 

H. Irving." 

"Mephisto," the bull-pup spoken of, was brought to 
New York, but my brother's partiality for him was not 
shared by everybody in the theatre. The head carpenter 
Tait observed to me one day, "I have no use for him." 
Tait had a complaint to make to Augustin about Mephis- 
to's bad temper once, and as the details of his behavior 
were unfolded, the dog rose and placed his forepaws 
beseechingly on my brother's breast as if pleading his 
own cause. When it happened that he was left alone in 
my brother's office (which was never locked), he did not 
object to any one coming in, but nobody could leave until 
his master returned. Once a prominent dramatic critic 


was so restrained by this mistaken policy of Mephisto's, 
that he could have made out a very good case of false 
imprisonment. Mephisto died a few years later and was 
replaced by another bull-pup. 

The company went down to Brighton to give a matinee 
of "A Night Off," and William Black came with his 
wife to see it. He wrote : 

"I am proud of my American readers, and fancied I would 
like to hear Americans read and see them act. One can form a 
very good estimate of the culture of a people by a study of the 
plays they accept and the acting they enjoy; but I confess I 
have lost all sight of the nationality In the fine art of every 
member of the company. We have no one precisely like Miss 
Rehan nearer than Paris." 

Mr. Daly, Miss Rehan, and a party of the company 
dined with Mr. Black at the Old Ship Hotel. 

The Prince of Wales honored the Daly performances 
twice. For the royal visit of July 19, the play of "A 
Night Off" was given "by desire" ; and on the last night 
of the engagement, after the play — which was followed 
by a witty epilogue written for the farewell by Clement 
Scott — his royal highness came behind and took leave 
of each person in turn. 

The company departed at once for Scotland for a short 
engagement preparatory to the momentous expedition 
to the continent. 


The first visit of an American theatrical company to Germany. Open- 
ing in Hamburg at the Thalia Theatre. First English words spoken 
on a German stage in almost 300 years. The plays from the 
German do not succeed with the Germans. Stobitzer's "Love on 
Crutches" entirely unknown outside of Dresden. But the Ger- 
mans respect American art. Depressing effect upon actors play- 
ing to audiences ignorant of the language. A week in Berlin at 
the Wallner Theatre. Speedy change in critical opinion. The 
familiar "Night Off" introduces the company, and they suffer 
by comparison with home talent; but "She Would and She Would 
Not" establishes the company and carries the remainder of the 
programme. "Nancy & Co." succeeds in English where it failed 
in German. 

If It were, as Wallack said, a plucky thing for Daly 
to take an American theatrical company to England, It 
was even more courageous on his part to court the opinion 
of countries unacquainted with the English language. 
The company was announced for "Funftaghches Gast- 
splel" at the Thalia Theatre, Hamburg, and on the 19th 
of August, 1886, the first English-speaking company In 
nearly three hundred years was seen on a German stage. 
The Berlin Kreuz Zeitung recalled that, although this 
was the first American company to appear In Germany, 
a company of English actors performing biblical scenes 
or Mysteries had been brought over by the English church- 
men who attended the Council of Kostnltz In 14175 ^^^ 
that by 1590 English actors had established themselves 
and won a settled position of decided Influence In the 
smaller German Courts as well as In certain cities such as 



Curiosity to witness this revival of the EngHsh-speak- 
ing stage might have crowded the Hamburg theatre if 
the weather had been propitious and the customary sum- 
mer exodus had not taken away most of the class likely 
to be interested ; but the hterary and critical world turned 
out in force. Six plays were given, beginning with 
"Love on Crutches," which was followed by "A Night 
Off," "Nancy & Co.," "A Woman's Won't," "The Coun- 
try Girl," and "She Would and She Would Not." The 
names of the German originals and of the authors were 
announced. The native farces, as well as the German 
source of "A Woman's Won't," were of course familiar 
to the German press and public, and for their benefit 
the programmes also contained in full the argument of 
Wycherly's and Gibber's comedies. It transpired, however, 
that Stobitzer's excellent play, from which "Love on 
Crutches" was adapted, had not been played in Germany 
outside of Dresden. The opening night therefore suffered 
from the unlooked-for unfamiliarity of the audience with 
the play, and also, as it appeared, from a low estimate 
of its author. 

It was to be expected that the American manner and 
speech would be found strange, and that the transforma- 
tion of German into foreign types might occasion dis- 
content. The Americans were, in fact, allowed to be 
fascinating, but declared not true to life. What the ex- 
citement was among the company on the stage may be 
imagined. They had no illusions about the effect of 
playing to a German audience. There were wagers as 
to who would get the first laugh, and Miss Rehan won, 
even against Lewis. But there was gloom when lines 
that had evoked screams in London were received in 
decent silence. Indeed, everything shortly became so 
decorous and solemn that the players, after pursuing the 


business of the scene with their accustomed vivacity, 
came off entirely subdued. The company, however, 
Hke a family party at a strange inn, enjoyed their new 
experience. As none of them spoke German, and not an 
attendant of the theatre spoke English, the difficulties 
were not trifling. Even pantomime did not always 

The small American colony at the performances was 
increased by the attendance of the consuls, British and 
foreign, with their families ; and these dignitaries took 
occasion to pay visits of courtesy to Mr. Daly, who was 
also entertained, with his company, at a dinner given by 
the German authors. 

The Wallner Theatre in Berlin had been leased for a 
week, and the English residents and such Americans as 
were in town were constant attendants upon the per- 
formances there. So general and lively and evident be- 
came the intimacy thus established between the English 
and the Americans across the footlights, that one German 
writer regretfully remarked that the German population 
seemed to be left out of the arrangement. The Berlin 
press, whose dramatic columns were in the hands of an 
exceptionally brilliant coterie — and which was at first 
inclined to be censorious — exhibited a remarkable change 
of opinion in a very short time. The German playwrights, 
of course, were exceedingly friendly to Mr. Daly on ac- 
count of the market for their productions which his en- 
terprise had opened in America, but this did not affect 
in any degree the independence of the critics. The 
journal which prefaced its review by saying of Mr. Daly 
that he was not only well known as a clever and industrious 
arranger of German plays, but was praised by German 
dramatists for the sense of justice which impelled him, 
though not legally bound to do so, to pay them liberally 


for their plays, remarked of the members of his company 
that they had already become well known through street 
posters, which did not make a particularly deep impres- 
sion, and that (with all friendliness to the strangers) 
truth compelled the admission that the originals scarcely 
succeeded better. 

It was in this spirit that the opening performance, 
"A Night Off" (which was as familiar as household 
words to the Berliners), was generally received. The 
press next day allowed that it was smoothly played, but 
deemed the performance lacking in distinction ; it also 
said that any of the Berlin players would have done much 
better, and imparted to the performance a truer comedy 
tone than the guests from New York, some of whom, 
although enjoying particular fame at home, would hardly 
be engaged by a Berlin manager — certainly not for prin- 
cipal roles. Other critics pronounced the engagement not 
a happy experiment, and opined that, besides the Ameri- 
cans present, nobody could be particularly interested in 
what the visitors did ; also that they afforded Berliners 
an opportunity for judging American art somewhat like 
that offered by Hagenbeck's anthropological exhibition ; 
further, that the announcement that their engagement 
was limited to seven nights afforded more gratification 
than their performances ; and finally that their style 
was of the coarsest farce, and that during the whole even- 
ing one expected to see them stand upon their heads or 
dance a clog dance. 

Of the company there were different opinions. One 
critic credited Miss Rehan with having "good soubrette 
blood," but said she caricatured the part of Nishe. An- 
other observed that "Miss Rehan, the darling of the 
company, was ridiculous in tasteless toilettes." An- 
other remarked that her action was "charming enough, 


but without a trace of naturalness"; that her fainting 
scene (Act 2) was done "repulsively": that no one in 
Germany would play a backfisch so unsympathetically. 
One, however, found Miss Rehan charming as an ingenue, 
with a leaning toward the enfant terrible. By one writer 
Mrs. Gilbert was termed a comical but dignified old lady, 
while another observed that she was rather old than 
funny. The Hamburg press, by the way, had expressed 
the opinion that the German stage hardly possessed an 
old woman of Mrs. Gilbert's comic power ! Lewis and 
Leclercq, it was said by one observer, gave a picture in 
coarse colors, but another credited Lewis with having 
played with astonishing naturalness. Of Drew and 
Skinner it was remarked that they gave their dry humor 
full value, and of Miss Dreher that she never overstepped 
the bounds of comedy, notwithstanding "the bad example 
about her." 

The almost brutal reception thus given to the "guests" 
and to their manager can be explained. There was a 
natural feehng of loyalty to native performers, who were 
forced into contrast with strangers in their favorite parts. 

While, in Hamburg, the company suffered from the 
disadvantage of opening in a German play which the 
Germans did not know, they now suffered from opening 
in a piece so well known that a novel interpretation of 
its characters came with a sort of shock. The critic of 
the Staatsburger Zeitung observed, however, that, although 
the American way of treating "Der Raub der Sabinerin- 
nen" savored of burlesque, "the performance showed 
clearly that it would be easy for the Americans to sat- 
isfy the highly cultivated taste of a society which had 
outgrown worn-out theatrical effects ; " that the acting 
was fresh,. clever, and only not natural when the American 
taste led to the exaggeration of the comic element. An- 


other journal ungrudgingly stated that the public ap- 
peared to be much pleased, and that "instead of judging 
our guests by our standards, we ought to be happy and 
thankful to learn the American art and their custom of 
interpreting it" ; and another ejaculated, "God be praised, 
we have home talent good enough to show what good 
acting is — but, on the whole, the evening was delightful !" 
The manager, after presenting his company to the 
Berliners first in the most boisterous of the German 
farces, next o6Fered that most lively of old comedies, "She 
Would and She Would Not." No more disapproval of 
American methods was heard. The critics went to Gib- 
ber's play and found the acting a revelation. On the 
third night, "Love on Crutches" established the reputa- 
tion of the visitors. On the fourth night "The Gountry 
Girl" enraptured the Berliners, and in the spirited per- 
formance of "Nancy & Go." ("Halbe Dichter"), the 
German critics found courage to compare the Americans 
with the best actors of their own stage. "We see them " 
(says the Tagehlatt) "on their strongest side — an exu- 
berant humor which passes all bounds, and which our 
Germans have not courage to attempt for fear of lapsing 
into the coarse"; the Borsten Courier, noting the fact 
that the piece had been played two years before in this 
very theatre and unsuccessfully, observed that the Ger- 
man actors who now saw the Daly company in it went 
home after this performance with greater satisfaction 
than they had felt after their own. The Presse, re- 
calling the same previous failure, declared the present 
success remarkable, and thought the play might have been 
helped by an adaptation which added humorous force 
to it; but nevertheless acknowledged that the American 
performers "taught us that on the other side of the 
Atlantic there are players who freshly and decidedly em- 


body the humor of the drama. When our guests return 
to their home across the great water, they will, perhaps, 
take with them the knowledge that the chief value of 
their work in the German capital lies less in the pieces 
they have performed than in the manner in which they 
played them. . . . By their dramatic equipment, their 
smoothness in dialogue and the freshess of their humor 
alone, have they secured an uncontested and incontestable 
success." The National Zeitung acknowledged the visit 
of the Daly company to be an act of courtesy to the 
German public and to German authors. The Borsten 
Courier said that "the acquaintance made with the 
peculiar art of the Americans was worth while — it was 
captivating and won success, even with their German 

A graceful courtesy to the visitors was shown by the 
Lokal Anzeiger, which printed its farewell "to its esteemed 
American guests" in their language as well as its own, 
and declared that their visit from across the ocean was a 
laudable as well as highly interesting enterprise, and that 
*'Mr. Daly's actors belonged to the very first ranks of 
their profession." 


The first visit of an American theatrical company to France. No 
delusions entertained about its probable reception. False notions 
about the "Yankee." Keen interest among professionals. An- 
nouncements. Engagement of the Theatre des Vaudevilles. 
Enrollment of Daly in the Dramatic Authors' Society. The first 
night. All the company on the scene except Miss Kingdon. 
The Anglo-American colony in full dress, to the surprise of the 
Parisians. The journals, in the main, not encouraging. Resent- 
ment at showing another art in the art capital of the world. Disas- 
ters of English, German, Spanish, and Russian troupes recalled. 
Discovery first that the plays now produced were not American, 
but Prussian — then that they were French. Some serious 
criticisms. Criticism of the acting. English press indignant. 
Company locked in. Let out in time to get to Ireland. Home. 

In going to Paris Mr. Daly was under no delusion as to 
the reception his company would meet with from press 
and people. He believed them without interest in dra- 
matic matters outside of their own country, and indif- 
ferent to any school of acting but their own. He expected, 
however (and in this he was not disappointed), very keen 
professional interest in his work. In one respect he was 
misjudged. Most of the journalists supposed that his 
object in bringing his people so many thousands of miles 
at such great cost was to make money — they religiously 
believed that all Americans followed money-making as 
a principle. His attempt was therefore considered as 
sordid as it was audacious, and deserving of failure. They 
never clearly comprehended Daly, and this, with some 
minor matters, quite French, vexed him. But he got 



over his annoyance, and looked back upon his experience 
with a sense of victory. 

His coming was heralded for some weeks in all the 
journals, and in the principal ones in very gracious words. 
Although his stay was to be very brief, only three days, 
the Theatre des Vaudevilles was secured at a heavy cost. 
The capacity of the house was estimated at 1200 persons ; 
and the regular prices of admission ranged from six francs 
(eight francs if the seats were booked, or secured in 
advance) downwards. According to custom, Mr. Daly 
was duly enrolled in the Societe des Auteurs et Compositeurs 
Dramatiques, and his fees as author being reckoned at 
ten per cent of the gross receipts, three per cent thereof 
was deducted and paid over to the society. The excel- 
lent Mr. Roger, its agent, was an enthusiastic visitor to 
the performances. License for the plays was obtained in 
due course from the Ministre des Beaux-Arts. As the con- 
tract for the theatre did not include an orchestra, one 
was collected for Mr. Daly at the nightly cost of ten 
francs each for two of the performers and eight francs 
for each of the others, and they were conducted by Mr. 
Henry Widmer as chef d'orchestre. Furniture for the 
drawing-room scenes was secured from a shop at an ex- 
pense of 600 francs, in advance of Mr. Daly's arrival. 
The proprietor of the shop had to be furnished with a 
plan of the scenes in order to make appropriate selections 
from his stock, and he also required time for thought in 
the process. The result, he asserted, would be found to 
surpass anything on the French stage. 

Care was taken to invite to the opening persons dis- 
tinguished in art and literature. All who were not pre- 
vented by professional engagements or absence on their 
holidays were present. The English and American 
Ambassadors had boxes for the opening, the Russian Am- 


bassador for the last night. Arsene and Henri Houssaye 
came to the first performance, and Coquelin, who had 
expected to be able to attend only the performance of 
"The Country Girl," was present every evening. The 
English and American colony were out in great force, 
notwithstanding the midsummer heat. M. de Blowitz 
wrote to the London Times that "the English people 
present expressed surprise at the total want of an American 
accent on the stage." 

The company which appeared in Paris was identical 
with that which had played in Germany, with the excep- 
tion of Miss Kingdon, who had withdrawn from the stage 
to be married. 

The programme for the three performances of "La 
Troupe Americaine d'Augustin Daly du Daly's Theatre 
New York (Etats Unis)" was for the first night "A 
Woman's Won't" ("Le ' Je Ne Veux Pas ' d'une Femme") 
and "Love on Crutches" ("L'Amour Boiteux"); for 
the second night, "A Woman's Won't" and "A Night 
Off" ("Une Soiree de Premiere") ; for the third night, "A 
Country Girl," and for the matinee, "Nancy & Co." 
The programmes contained a full description of each 
play for the benefit of visitors who could not follow the 

The reception of the company on the opening night 
was enthusiastic. That the English and Americans took 
the trouble to come in evening dress was a circumstance 
which excited the first comments of the Parisian journalists, 
who announced next morning, as matter of news, that the 
women were decolletees and the men in black, in marked 
contrast to the customary morning coats and felt hats 
they wore at the opera house in the summer season — 
"some even going in gray like millers." One exasperated 
writer considered their dress at this performance an 


indication that they felt themselves at home and honored 
the occasion accordingly, and that customarily they were 
"book-makers in Paris and gentlemen only in England," 
Figaro was gratified to observe that the French were the 
only ones present in high-necked dresses and paletots — 
"politesse for politesse!" Le Matin observed of the 
evening dress and rohes decolletees, that with a little 
imagination one might fancy oneself "in New York, some- 
where in the neighborhood of Sixth Avenue." 

The interest in the visiting players felt by some of the 
journalists and litterateurs of Paris was not shared by all 
the critical fraternity. Completely helpless and resent- 
ful in face of the task of judging the merits of actors who 
spoke in a foreign tongue, the journals with one or two 
exceptions were filled with puerilities such as the above 
comments upon the dress of the audience, criticisms of the 
appearance of the actors, and a frank acknowledgment of 
the hostile reception to be expected by a foreign company 
venturing to invade the French stage. One reviewer 
recalled the astonishment of Theophile Gautier when in 
his day a German company — and a bad one at that — 
had the audacity to appear in Paris. "How is it," he 
is quoted as exclaiming, "that the greatest, the most 
confident — those who have been carried in triumph, 
crowned with gold and drawn by yokes of admirers, ap- 
proached Paris trembling, and you have not been afraid .^" 
The Univers Illustre revived pleasant recollections of the 
mobbing of an English company which had appeared in 
"Othello" in 1822 at the Porte-Saint-Martin, the per- 
formers being pelted with potatoes, broken pipes, and 
sous, one of which struck an actress in the face and caused 
her to faint. A force of gendarmes appeared on the 
stage, but the audience hurled chairs at them; then, at 
the "charge" sounded by one of the rioters on a drum in 


the orchestra, the mob leaped over the footlights. The 
actors rallied to drive them back, and a hand-to-hand 
conflict ensued, terminating in the retreat of the for- 
eigners, covered with wounds. The writer admitted 
that American actors, "no more than English, German, 
Spanish, or Hottentot," had ever won in Paris the success 
which French companies achieved abroad ; that this was 
due to the indifference felt by Frenchmen in general and 
Parisians in particular to all that went on in other coun- 
tries — a bad thing undoubtedly; and that there was 
"nothing to attract foreign actors to Paris — neither 
money to gain nor applause to receive." 

Another English company once risked Paris, played 
one night to seventeen persons, and next day took the 
train for home. The Paris campaign of the great Italian, 
Rossi, was disastrous. One Spanish company at the 
Varietes and another, the Estudiantina, at the Salle 
Taitbout, met with discomfiture. But the most calami- 
tous experiment was that of a Russian company of forty 
persons with beautiful and curious costumes, which ar- 
rived in Paris in 1876 to give a play called "A Russian 
Wedding in the i6th Century" — very popular in St. 
Petersburg and Moscow. They had quite a crowd on 
the first night, but most of it left before the end ; they 
tried every means to attract the attention of the public 
— distributed printed translations of their play and 
lowered their prices, but all to no purpose. They were 
organized to carry out a long season, but one morning 
the manager committed suicide, one of the actors fol- 
lowed his example, and finally the French actors had to 
get up a benefit and send them home. 

These lugubrious reminiscences convinced the Paris 
press that the Americans were doomed to failure, and 
that it would not be unkind promptly to execute the 


decree of fate. The columns of several papers were 
opened to a patriotic anonymous correspondent who 
announced that the company was imposing on the 
pubHc — that it did not come from "London" but from 
Berlin, and that the plays to which Mr. Daly put his 
name were not American but notoriously Prussian. 
Even when it was discovered that some of the Daly plays 
were from French originals, Le Telegraphs calmly de- 
clared : "It is not the mission of the French press to en- 
courage foreign adapters." But gratification was ex- 
pressed in some quarters on finding that "A Woman's 
Won't," or "Thank Goodness the Table is Spread!", 
although adapted from the German, was originally Leon 
Gozlan's "Dieu merci le convert est mis!" And that 
"Love on Crutches" was copied partly from Sardou's 
"Les Pattes de Mouche" and partly from Alphonse Karr's 
"Le Chemin le plus Court." One feuilletonist delight- 
fully remarked, "After seeing Mr. Daly's American adap- 
tation of a German play, one is forced to exclaim, 'How 
well these Frenchmen write!'" — a jeu d' esprit greatly 
relished by the adapter, who was very well satisfied to 
have preserved the brilliancy of the original after it had 
passed through two transformations. The position taken 
by another authority was that "if Mr. Daly persisted 
further he would meet the fate of all foreign managers 
who have tried to introduce their productions within our 
artistic walls"; and the boldness of his attempt was 
thus explained : "Mr. Daly's artists have probably much 
talent, but they have deceived themselves and have con- 
founded Paris with a village. Paris is the greatest city 
of the world, and to gain its attention it is necessary 
to offer something worthy of it." 

The coup de grace was administered to Mr, Daly as 
adapter. He was described as an industrious Yankee 


who hired subalterns at two hundred francs a month to 
translate the low German repertoire, and had the effron- 
tery to put his name to the work. Several critics, like 
M. Besson of U Evenement, condemned the Daly plays 
as "fit only for boarding schools" ; and the veteran Sarcey 
(whom M. de Blowitz accused of staying away from the 
performances altogether) cruelly remarked that the 
pieces of the company might be witnessed by "any young 


Of the acting, Le Gaulois conceded that "it is very 
good, very easy, very sure, very quick, and the ensemble 
is happy; the humor seems a little cold and scant, but 
it must be judged from the American point of view; 
and the company is excellent." La Pommeraye in Paris 
delivered an opinion that disclosed an attempt at analy- 
sis. Speaking of the company generally, he says that 
they seemed to French observers "too much preoccupied 
in trying to give the illusion of reality"; and he con- 
tinues : 

"If Mr. Zola assisted at these representations at the Vaude- 
ville he ought to be happy, for if all American actors play like 
those we are seeing the American theatre may be said to be 
naturalistic. Thus in 'A Woman's Won't' a young husband 
treats his wife on the scene with a liberty which would some- 
what shock our French women. He . . . even — do I deceive 
myself — kisses her on the mouth. In France certain artists 
attempt this boldness, but they turn their backs to the public. 
Americans are more frank. Shocking — but pleasing. This 
impassioned pantomime is also very ardent in the last act of 
'Love on Crutches.' 

This propensity for naturalism shows itself in a thousand 
details. The fashion of entering, sitting, taking a chair, talk- 
ing, taking leave, going out, coming in, — it is the usage of every- 
day life. With us there is always a little conventionality in 


the movement of the characters. If I may judge from what I 
see the American stage is dominated exclusively by reality. 

I was not offended by it; nevertheless, with regard to speech 
— a topic upon which I wish to be reserved — if I dare risk a 
criticism, I regret that the dialogue is delivered in a fashion so 
rapid and in a tone of such conversational intimacy as to lessen 
the effect of many points. I am one of those who believe that 
it is not necessary to speak on the stage as in a room or a salon.^^ 

By the individuals of the company the critics were 
greatly impressed, in spite of evident reluctance to dis- 
cern anything pleasing in the plays ; but there was always 
with them a sense of something new and strange. Mr. 
Drew, th.ejeune premier, we learn from various journalistic 
sources, is "very simple and very Saxon"; is "a hand- 
some fellow whose faultless dress is not his sole merit, 
for in his love scenes he exhibits warmth without ceasing 
to be the man of the world"; moreover, he possesses "a 
bearing of distinction ; and is cold, but not so much so as 
to prevent his controlling his scenes, which he holds well 
in hand." 

The critics on the first night had a good deal to contend 
with besides an imperfect acquaintance with the English 
language, if not total ignorance of it. There was con- 
fusion in seating the audience, owing to a renumbering of 
chairs after the spring cleaning of the theatre, and many 
journalists found themselves placed unsuitably to their 
dignity. Seen through lorgnettes evidently out of focus, 
Mr. Drew appeared to two of them like a " hairdresser's 
apprentice " ; and it is from a back seat, doubtless, that 
we have the complaint: "Miss Rehan, the Sarah Bern- 
hardt of the troupe, and Mr. John Drew, do not stir us 
in the least. . . . The actors have natural humor, and 
could make us laugh if they had anything to do. Our 
artists can only gain by comparison." 


The London press was not at all pleased with the re- 
ception given to the Daly company in Paris, and the ac- 
counts sent over by the correspondents aroused English 
sentiment to such an extent that they practically made 
the cause of the Americans their own. The Times cor- 
respondent, M. de Blowitz, to whose Paris letter upon 
these performances was accorded very large space, dis- 
cerned a certain disappointment on the part of the French 
journalists at the large attendance upon the Daly plays, 
and an attempt to represent the audiences and the ap- 
plause as exclusively English and American. He affirmed 
the contrary, and declared the French spectators hearty 
in their appreciation. He asserted that the local critics 
did not shine in the task imposed upon them by the ad- 
vent of their American visitors, and that not a few, 
Sarcey at their head, simplified their duties by shirking 
them ; that others sat out the lever du rideau ("A Woman's 
Won't") impatiently, and then ran away to escape longer 
wrestling with the Anglo-Saxon tongue ; while those who 
had the courage to watch the performance to its close, 
were lenient in their judgment, but took refuge behind 
their imperfect knowledge of English to excuse themselves 
for limiting their notices of the performances to superficial 
impressions. On the whole, he observed, their remarks 
generally, though devoid of all weight as criticism, showed 
a desire to do justice — or rather not to be ignorantly 

After having "crossed Paris like a flash of lightning," 
as Gustave Flaubert said in La Republique, Mr. Daly took 
his company back to England without realizing that he 
had after all escaped the fate of those English, German, 
Russian, and Spanish adventurers who years before had 
madly dashed themselves against the artistic rock of 
Paris. What would have astonished his French critics, 


if they had known it, was his resolution, before he left 
Paris, to return to it again and storm its prejudices. 
A letter from my brother will conclude this episode : 

"Northwestern Hotel, Liverpool, Sept. 9, '86. 
Dear Brother, 

As you may well imagine I had enough to do in Paris besides 
letter writing. It was an anxious and disappointing week for 
me. I went into a theatre which was undergoing a re-arrange- 
ment of seats, and the seats were not all laid in until 7:35 
o'clock on the evening we opened ; and the curtain was run 
up at 8. The seats were sold from the old diagram and a lot 
of confusion ensued. The weather was unbearably hot. 
French theatres have no ventilation whatever, and they keep 
every door closed. Some of the rabid French papers had got 
up a cry that my visit to Paris with German plays was a de- 
liberate insult to the French nation, and so quite a bad feeling 
was fanned into life in addition to the inborn hatred which the 
true Parisian bears to everything foreign. The Company were 
naturally anxious ; the departure of Miss Kingdon rendered 
rehearsals for Miss Dreher necessary. And so in the midst of 
all these excitements we opened. That my experiment was 
not an utter failure is only to be laid to Heaven's mercy. We 
did not fail, but we did not give a good performance of Love 
on Crutches. The second night was better: 'A Night Off.' 
The third, Nancy and Country Girl, fair, but the heat was 
frightful. When all was over the farce began : We were all 
locked in by the concierge, who claimed that three of his towels 
were missing from the dressing rooms, and he would not let 
any one out until they were found. They had been collected 
by the French dresser, and were finally restored to the concierge, 
who I suspect had invented the robbery thinking to get some 
money, as I had resisted all appeals to give him a pourboire. 
I had found him grasping and unobliging. 

The most unprejudiced French critics gave us praise. Al- 
most all praised the ensemble, which, as you know, is my pride, 
but which nervousness, &c., nearly destroyed on the first night. 


Coquelin attended all the performances and was delighted, 
especially with Miss Rehan and Mr. Lewis. . . . The mis- 
management of the man who attended to the advance business 
matters for me antagonized a lot of critics. ... I tried all I 
could when I reached here to overcome this. ... I am glad 
the ordeal is over. I am worked out. . . ." 

After a single day spent in London, the company took 
train for Liverpool to open at the Royal Alexandra The- 
atre on September 6. This was their first visit to Liver- 
pool. On the 13th the company was playing in the 
Gaiety Theatre, Dublin. From Ireland Mr. Daly and 
the company took steamer for New York, landing on 
September 26 in excellent spirits after the most ex- 
citing tour in their history. Since leaving home in May 
they had given sixty-eight performances in London, 
seven each in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, and Dub- 
lin, five in Hamburg, six in Berlin, three in Paris, and two 
in Brighton. 

The return to America was to a welcome even warmer 
than that of 1884. Wallack wrote, "Pray let me con- 
gratulate you on your brilliant success and your safe re- 
turn!" Palmer arranged for a dinner, with Wallack and 
a few friends. Horace Howard Furness wrote after the 
news of the London season had been cabled to America : 

"Wallingford P.O., Delaware County, 

Dear Daly 

You are a real downright good boy ! These clippings are 
the very things I was longing for. The cable had given us your 
neat little speech on the first night — which had amazingly 
whetted our appetite for fuller details. 

Now don't you let those Britishers spoil you and make you 
despise the likes of us when you get back. 'Codlin's your 
friend, not Short!'" 


There are pleasant memorials of the trip now ended ; 
of Janauschck, Mrs. Kendal, Genevieve Ward, and the 
little dancing lady, Loie Fuller, who once begged Augustin 
to hear her sing, in order to be taken into the ranks of 
his musical debutantes ; of Toole, HoUingshead, Wilson 
Barrett, Howard Paul, and Hare, frequent visitors to the 
Strand ; of Pollock, editor of the Saturday Review, and 
before that one of the brilliant theatrical critics of Lon- 
don, who was most enthusiastic over the Daly comedies, 
and reminded by them of the Comedie Fran^aise in its 
best days ; and of the radiant Ellen Terry, who wrote : 
"My young daughter is dying to see our Ada Rehan." 


Season of 1886-1887, to be memorable for the revival of "The Taming 
of the Shrew" with the "Induction" restored. A literary as well 
as a dramatic event. "After Business Hours." "Love in Har- 
ness." "The Taming of the Shrew" as produced by Daly a new 
play to the stage. The cast. Enthusiasm of the audience and 
of the press. The production elicits editorial praise. A pri- 
vately printed edition. Life publishes a letter from Shakespeare 
to his dear friend Daly. The Shrew supper. Mark Twain's 
speech. Lester Wallack's. Transfer of his company to Daly's 
in April, 1887. The end of a respected institution. 

The play on the first night of the season, October 5, 
1886, at Daly's Theatre, was "After Business Hours," 
from the German of Oscar Blumenthal ; and his theme was 
the craze for money, dress, and display. The pathetic 
story of Lily Bart in Mrs. Wharton's House of Mirth dis- 
closes the tragic side of one such story. In this play 
the theme is treated humorously. When the curtain 
fell, each of the principal performers was called for, and 
then an imperative demand for the hero of the European 
trip brought a modest response from Mr. Daly, in which a 
sincere tribute was paid to the friendships formed on both 
sides of the water. 

"After Business Hours" was continued for forty-nine 
performances, and then "Love in Harness" was produced 
on November 16. Albin Valabregue's "Bonheur Con- 
jugal" furnished the groundwork of this three-act French 
farce, the fun of which was uproarious. 

While these modern comedies held the stage of Daly's, 
a Shakespearian revival of the first importance was in 



preparation. This was "Tlie Taming of the Shrew." 
An abbreviated version, under the title of "Katherine and 
Petruchio, " had been long a familiar entertainment in 
England and America and was first produced by Gar- 
rick a century and a half ago. He eliminated from 
Shakespeare's comedy the "Induction" and the wooing 
of Bianca, in fact everything but the boisterous episodes 
of Katherine and Petruchio^ and thereafter his fragment 
was tacitly accepted as the only actable form of the 
work, and was usually reserved as a frolic for gala nights. 
Edwin Booth added Petruchio to his repertoire when he 
needed a rest, and Charlotte Cushman romped through 
the part of Katherine for her benefits. The characters 
were always great favorites with the "heavies" of the 
profession, men and women. 

Stripped of the Induction which Shakespeare retained 
when he re-wrote the earlier play ("The Taming of a 
Shrew") there remained only a farcical interlude; but 
with the Induction restored, we find a comedy of man- 
ners. Mr. Winter, in his introduction to Mr. Daly's 
printed prompt copy of "The Taming of the Shrew," 
observes that the members of the Daly company were 
the creators on the American stage of the characters of 
the restored comedy ; and that it is to be noted, in con- 
sidering Mr. Daly's work, that he had neither theatrical 
types nor tradition to guide him in putting the Induction 
upon the stage. 

As the event is historical, the names of the participants 
ought to be preserved. The persons represented in the 
Induction were : A Lord, Mr. George Clarke ; Christopher 
Sly, a tinker, Mr. William Gilbert; J Page, represent- 
ing a lady. Master Will Collier; A Huntsman, Mr. 
Thomas Patten ; Players, Mr. Frederick Bond and Mr. 
John Wood ; Two Servants^ Messrs. Ireton and Murphy ; 


The Hostess, Miss May Sylvie. Persons represented in 
the play performed : Baptista, a rich gentleman of 
Padua, Mr. Charles Fisher ; Fincentio, an old gentleman 
of Pisa, Mr. John Moore ; Lucentio, son to Vincentio, 
loving Bianca, Mr. Otis Skinner ; Petruchio, a gentleman 
of Verona, suitor to Katherine, Mr. John Drew ; Gremio, 
an old gentleman, Hortensio, a young gentleman, suitors 
to Bianca, Mr. Charles Leclercq and Mr. Joseph Hol- 
land ; A Pedant, an old fellow set up to represent Vin- 
centio, Mr. John Wood ; J Tailor, Mr. George Parkes ; 
Grumio, serving man to Petruchio, Mr. James Lewis ; 
Biondello and Tranio, servants to Lucentio, Mr. E. P. 
Wilks and Mr. Frederick Bond ; guests, singers, &c., by 
Miss Filkins, Miss Amber, Miss Ratcliff, Miss Campbell, 
Messrs. Ireton, Murphy, Patten, &c. ; Katherine, the 
Shrew, Miss Ada Rehan ; Bianca, her sister. Miss Virginia 
Dreher ; A Widow, who marries Hortensio, Miss Jean 
Gordon ; Curtis, of Petruchio's household, Mrs. G. H. 

The charm of the performance was recorded in the 
really remarkable praises of the press on the following 
morning. "Even the critics were seen to applaud." 
When the critics of the daily and weekly papers had unan- 
imously concurred in praising the production, the editorial 
columns of the journals took up the theme. 

Among the visitors to the new play were John Hay 
from Washington, General Sherman and his brother 
John the Senator, William M. Chase the artist, Mr. and 
Mrs. Lester Wallack, the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher 
and Mrs. Beecher, and "the oldest woman member of 
the press in New York" — Mrs. Croly — "Jennie June," 
Mr. Beverly Chew reminded the manager, long before the 
production, of his promise of a copy of the play, if printed, 
to add to his collection, writing: "I need hardly say to 


you that as a student and lover of the old drama, your 
annual revivals are looked forward to as the brightest 
event in the whole amusement season." The play was 
printed. As a souvenir of the production, a printed 
copy of the book was distributed to the audience on the 
hundredth performance. There were some copies on 
large paper, and mine bore on the cover in my brother's 
hand, the inscription : 

"To you, my dear Brother, with all my heart I send this 
souvenir of the great triumph at our theatre. 

Augustin Daly. 
April 13, '87." 

Mr. J. Scott Hartley on Mr. Daly's order executed a 
bust of Miss Rehan as Katherine, and reproduced it in 
marble and in bronze. Mr. Eliot Gregory's portrait of 
her in the character was presented by Mr. Daly to the 
Stratford Library. Another vivid portrait by Hilary 
Bell was hung in the foyer of the theatre. 

The chief interest centred upon the interpretation by 
Miss Rehan and Mr. Drew of parts which had been 
made familiar by great names in art. These two artists 
were the representatives hitherto of drawing-room parts. 
Petruchio might have been a coarse farceur, or a mere 
ruffian, or, worst of all, a cynical brute ; but Drew imagined 
a different being. He was of course virile, forcible, and 
buoyantly romantic; but the wonder was how Drew's 
polish, so appropriate to drawing-room comedy, would 
suit the rugged utterance of an adventurer of the bandenere 
type; the wonder grew that it was found not unbecoming 
in Petruchio. 

The Katherine of Miss Rehan was one of the most 
individual and striking figures of the time. A survey 
of the known impersonators of the role shows it to have 

John I)ri;\v 


been without a prototype. In stage legend it remains 
unexcelled for loftiness as well as power. Her raving 
became that of a goddess, or one of those unconquerable 
women whom the Vikings worshipped and dreaded. 

What was particularly remarked among the many re- 
markable things in this memorable production was that 
the story of the wooing of Bianca by the rivals Lucentio, 
Gremio, and Hortensio, and the plot by which the young 
suitors are introduced in the disguise of tutors, with the 
incident of the roguish Pedant, — the "deceiving father 
of a deceitful son, " — became as interesting to the audience 
as the principal theme of the play. In restoring this 
underplot as well as the Induction and giving to it the 
full value that Shakespeare intended, Mr. Daly doubly 
demonstrated his comprehension of dramatic values. 
Garrick, the actor-manager, seemed to have been want- 
ing where Daly, as the dramatist-manager, had the truer 
insight. To the skill, grace, culture, and intelligence of 
Miss Virginia Dreher, Mr. Otis Skinner, Mr. Frederick 
Bond, Mr. Charles Leclercq, and Mr. Joseph Holland, to 
whom Mr. Daly intrusted the story of the wooing of 
Bianca, was due the success of that part of the restora- 

The part of Grumio, the humorous servant of a hu- 
morous master, in the old acceptance of the adjective, was 
now undertaken by James Lewis for the first time, and 
became identified with him, as Katherine and Petruchio 
were with Miss Rehan and Mr. Drew, for nearly a gener- 
ation. There were many traditions of the stage for the 
part of Grumio, transmitted from one *' first low comedian " 
to another; but it was observable at once that there was 
something of the finer touch in this Grumio, as well as in 
his master Petruchio. Mrs. Gilbert of course was Curtis ; 
now, by custom for a time whereof memory runs not to 


the contrary, represented as a female servant, and not a 
male retainer. Even the careful Hamilton Bell, who 
designed the costumes for this production as he did for 
"The Merry Wives of Windsor," confessed that he had 
fallen into the traditional error. The point is touched 
upon in a witty conceit of Life (published after the hun- 
dredth performance of the play) : 

"Empyrean Depths, 

Ye 14th daye of Aprille, 

... t;. , T^ , (Newe Style), 1887. 

My deare rrende Dalye : 

Inne company with my goode frende Baconne — whom you 
may rememberre as ye author of my playes — I occupied on 
yester e'en a front seat atte the One Hundredth performance 
of 'Ye Taming of ye Shrew' in youre most charmyng playhouse. 
I wolde we had so coole a place to sitte in for alle tyme. 

Egad, I never knew I wrote so well, and Baconne, e'en that 
sour, crusty philosopher, did clappe his crumblyng fingerres 
till ye duste did fly from out them whenne ye curtain fell upon 
act ye first. 

Inne act ye seconde ye scenes did so afi^ect me that in ye 
spirit I didde yelle for joy, and Baconne, too, did rolle his 
eyes as if ye Deville didde possesse him. 

The temper of ye Rehanne, deare frende, did make me gladde, 
and when ye Dreher walked uponne ye stage, Baconne did ask 
that I shulde pinche hym, lest it be a dream. 

I alwayes thought that Curtis was a man, but now that 
Madam Gilbert takes his lines, I'm gladde his sex is changed. 

And Drewe ! Ah me ! why had we not this buoyant glad- 
some youth in olden tyme, with Skinner for ye Florentine, 
and roaryng Lewis, that our sides shulde ache for laughing ! 

Ah, Sir Dalye ! would that we two had walked togetherre in 
ye dayes of good Queen Bess. How we had made thyngs 
humme ! Ye starres ! what wealth, what honours had been 
ours had not the centuries come between us, and what greater 
immortality had been mine when shared with you ! 


I give you joy, deare frende — ay, benefactor ; and in ye 
language of ye market place, I pray you 'Keepe it uppe!' 
Thine ever, with affecsyon and gratitude, 

Wm. Shakespeare. 

P.S. — Baconne, who never yet did care for ye 'Taming of 
ye Shrew,' nowe claimes its authorshippe." 

When Augustin felt that he had succeeded to the utmost 
of his hopes, he loved to call his friends around him to 
share his satisfaction. On the one hundredth night of 
the "Taming of the Shrew," the first instance of such an 
extended run for a Shakespearian comedy, he invited some 
fifty persons to "a little supper" on Wednesday night, 
April 13, 1887, at twelve o'clock, on the stage of Daly's 
Theatre, to celebrate the event. The guests found them- 
selves in a pavilion enclosing the whole stage and shutting 
it off from the auditorium. A round table twenty-eight 
feet across displayed in the centre a bed of yellow roses, 
jonquils, and tulips. Around the table were General Sher- 
man and Miss Sherman, General Horace Porter, Horace 
Howard Furniss, L. Clarke Davis, Elihu Vedder, Samuel 
L. Clemens, Lawrence Hutton, Justice Richard O'Gor- 
man, Stephen H. Olin, Dr. J. W. Dowling, Oliver L. 
Jones, William Winter, John Foord, E. A. Dithmar, J. 
A. Mitchell, W. F. G. Shanks, Julius Chambers, Bronson 
Howard, Edgar Fawcett, Eliot Gregory, Marshall P. 
Wilder, A. C. Milne, Wilson Barrett, Lester Wallack, 
Miss Rehan, Miss Virginia Dreher, Mrs. G. H. Gilbert, 
Miss May Irwin, Miss St. Quentin, Miss Rose Eytinge, 
and Messrs. John Drew, Otis Skinner, George Clarke, 
James Lewis, Charles Fisher, Charles Leclercq, Joseph 
Holland, William Gilbert, Frederick Bond, James Roberts, 
Richard Dorney, C. F. Chatterton, John A. Duff, and 
James C. Duff. General Sherman, as toastmaster, in- 


troduced Mark Twain as the foremost wit, liumorist, and 
philosopher of his time, who had once told him that he 
could not make an impromptu speech unless he had four 
days for preparation. Mr. Clemens replied gravely : 

"I am glad to be here. This is the hardest theatre in New 
York to get into, even at the front door — I never got in without 
hard work. Two or three years ago I had an appointment to 
meet Mr. Daly on the stage of this theatre at eight o'clock in 
the evening. I got on a train at Hartford to come to New 
York and keep the appointment. All I had to do was to come 
to the back door of the theatre on Sixth Avenue. I didn't 
believe that — didn't believe it could be on Sixth Avenue — 
but that's what Daly's note said — come to that door, walk 
right in and keep the appointment. It looked easy enough, 
but I hadn't much confidence in that Sixth Avenue door. Well, 
I was kind of bored on the train, and I bought some newspapers 
— New Haven newspapers, — and there wasn't much news 
in them, so I read the advertisements. There was one adver- 
tisement of a 'bench show.' Now I'd heard of 'bench shows,' 
and often wondered what there was about them to interest 
people. I'd seen 'bench shows,' lectured to 'bench shows,' 
in fact — but I didn't want to advertise them or brag about 
them. Well, I read on a little, and learned that a bench show 
was not a bench show, but dogs ; not benches at all, only dogs. 
I began to get interested, and as there was nothing else to do I 
read every bit of that advertisement. I learned that the big- 
gest thing in the bench show was a St. Bernard dog that weighed 
one hundred and forty-five pounds, which is more than dogs 
usually weigh. Before I got to New York I was so interested 
in bench shows that I made up my mind to go to one the first 
chance I got. 

Down on Sixth Avenue near where that back door might 
be, there wasn't anything in sight that looked like a back door. 
The nearest approach to it was a cigar store, and I went in 
and bought a cigar — not too expensive, but it cost enough to 
pay for any information I might get, and leave the dealer a 


fair profit. Well, I didn't like to be too abrupt, to make the 
man think me crazy by asking him if that was the way to 
Daly's Theatre — so I started in carefully to lead up to the 
subject — asked him first if that was the way to Castle Garden. 
When I got to the real question, and he said he'd show me the 
way, I was astonished. 

He sent me through a long hallway and I found myself in 
a back yard ; then I went through a long passageway — and 
into a little room — and there, before my very eyes, was a big 
St. Bernard dog lying on a bench. There was another room 
beyond, and I went in, and was met by a big, fierce man with 
his fur cap on and his coat off, who remarked : 

'Pfat do yez want.^' 

I told him I wanted to see Mr. Daly. 

'Yez can't see Misther Daly this toime of night!' he re- 
sponded. I urged that I had an appointment with Mr. Daly, 
and gave him my card, which didn't seem to impress him much. 

'Yez can't go in, an' yez can't shmoke here. T'row away 
that cigar. If yez want to see Misther Daly yez'll have to be 
afther goin' to the front door an' buyin' a ticket, and then if 
yez have good luck, an' he's around that way, yez may see him !' 

I was getting discouraged, but I had one resource left that 
had been of good service in similar emergencies. Firmly but 
calmly I told him my other name was 'Mark Twain,' and 
awaited results. There were none. 

'Where's your order to see Misther Daly .^' he asked. 

I handed him the note and he examined it intently. 

'My friend,' I remarked, 'you can read that better if you 
hold it the other way,' but he took no notice of the suggestion, 
and asked : 'Where's Misther Daly's name.?' 

'There it is,' I told him, 'at the top of the page.' 

'That's all right,' he said, 'that's where he always puts it. 
But I don't see the "W" in his name.' And he eyed me dis- 
trustfully. Finally he asked : 

'Pfat did yez want to see Misther Daly for.?' 


'Show business ?' 


*Yes.' It was my only hope. 

*Pfat kind — t'eayters ?' 

That was too much. I said 'No.' 

'Pfat kind of shows then .'" 

'Bench shows !' It was risky, but I was desperate. 

'Bench shows is it? Where."" The big man's face changed 
and he began to !ook interested. 

'New Haven.' 

'New Haven, is it .^ Ay, that's goin' to be a foine show. I'm 
glad to see you. Did yez see a dog in the other room ?' 


'How much do yez t'ink that dog weighs.^' 

'One hundred and forty-five pounds.' 

'Luk at that now ! You're a good judge of dogs an' no mis- 
take. Lie weighs all of 138. Set down. Shmoke ! Go on, 
shmoke your cigar. I'll tell Misther Daly you're here!' 

Well, in a few minutes I was on the stage shaking hands 
with Daly, and the big man was standing by, glowing with 
satisfaction. 'Come round in front,' said Daly, 'and see the 
performance. I'll put you in my own box.' And as I moved 
away I heard my honest friend mutter : 'Well, he deserves it.'" 

So much for Owen's qualities as keeper of the gate. 
When the health of Mr. Lester Wallack was proposed, 
he rose and said with great feeling : 

"... I have nothing to utter but congratulations. A 
more pleasant task could not fall to any one. I congratulate 
Mr. Daly, who has presented to New York the very perfection 
of everything he has offered, I congratulate him on being sur- 
rounded tonight by his brilliant and accomplished company, 
and by his many brilliant and sincere friends, and he has my 
hearty and sincere wish, as a brother manager, that the success 
he has hitherto enjoyed may accompany him for many many 
years to come. I know — I have reason to know that Mr. 
Daly's feelings toward me are reciprocal. When I hear — and 
I hear very often — of the bickerings and the envies and the 


jealousies of the profession, tales of envious rivalry that exists 
among managers, I can only say they may be right and they 
may be wrong, but as regards myself they are wrong .... When 
I wish Mr. Daly every success, it is not only because he is a 
friend of mine, but because he is a friend of my profession. It 
is because he has for years, for many years, with an industry 
almost unparalleled, persevered in giving everything he has given 
in a most perfect manner. That is my humble opinion as an 
old fellow-manager. I am very proud and very happy to have 
this opportunity to acknowledge that fact, and it gives me great 
pleasure to meet you all." 

Looking back to the night of the "Shrew" supper, it 
appears that the address made by Mr. Wallack was the 
last he was destined to make in public while manager of 
a theatre. The end of a celebrated career was then ap- 
proaching. Although there had been rumors in theatrical 
circles of his probable relinquishment of the lease of Wal- 
lack's Theatre following an unsuccessful season, in which 
owing to failing health he had not been able to play, it 
was not anticipated that the most historic theatrical es- 
tablishment of New York was soon to close. A succes- 
sion of failures had brought the manager of the famous 
Wallack Theatre now to where the manager of the Fifth 
Avenue Theatre had found himself in 1878, and without 
the youth and energy by which Daly had managed to re- 
establish his fortunes. Less than two weeks after the 
Shrew supper, my brother received this letter : 

"13 West 30th St., New York, April 26, 1887. 
Dear Mr. Daly : As Col. McCaull will occupy my theatre in 
May, and as I wish to bring out another play that month ('The 
Romance of a Poor Young Man') I write to ask, as you close 
after this week, if you will give that 'Poor Young Man' the 
shelter of your beautiful house for a couple of weeks, com- 
mencing on May 16. • 


If you entertain the idea, and I know you will oblige me if 
you can, we will meet this week and talk over the necessary 

Yours always truly 
Lester Wallack." 

Mr. Daly comprehended the spirit and the occasion 
of the application, and he replied immediately : 

"Daly's Theatre. 

New York, April 27, 1887. 

My dear Mr. Wallack : I will be very glad to give the shelter 
of my house to your very charming 'Poor Young Man,' which 
I recollect with pleasure as one of the very brightest successes 
of Wallack's Theatre — under whose roof I drank in my earliest 
draughts of refreshing comedy. I had intended giving my 
theatre into the hands of painters and carpenters next week 
after closing my own season, but I can readily defer their work 
for a few weeks and be prepared to receive your company in 
'The Romance of a Poor Young Man,' or any of your other 
comedies which it may suit you to give in the time which I 
gladly place at your disposal, beginning May 16. 

Be kind enough to name the day and hour we shall meet to 
arrange the details, and believe me very sincerely, 

Augustin Daly." 

The farewell performances of the Wallack company 
began therefore in Daly's Theatre, May 16, 1887. The 
occasion attracted the attention of the public journals, 
and the long and honorable record of the Wallack man- 
agement was feelingly recalled. Of the older favorites 
John Gilbert and Mme. Ponisi alone remained ; Wallack 
himself was too ill to play. When the curtain fell for the 
last time on the Wallack company in New York on May 
28, 1887, it closed a stage record which for thirty-five 
years had been identified with the social life of New York 


and which had rendered great service to art and to the 
public welfare. 

The programme of the last performance of the famous 
Wallack company will be interesting, and I give it in full : 


Bill of The Play 

This Saturday evening, May 28th, 1887 

Farewell Performance of 

Mr. Wallack's Company 

and last time in this theatre of the special production of 
"The Romance of a Poor Young Man." 

At 8 : 15 o'clock 

Will be acted for the last time here Mr. Lester Wallack and 
Mr. Pierrepont Edward's adaptation of Octave Feuillet's 
celebrated Play, entitled 

The Romance of a Poor Young Man 
With the following distribution of characters : 


Dr. Desmarets, of the French Army . Mr. John Gilbert 
Manuel, Marquis de Champcey . . Mr. Kyrle Bellew 
Louise Van Berger, formerly nurse to 
Manuel, now keeper of a lodging- 
house Miss E. Blaisdell 

The Drama 

Dr. Desmarets Mr. John Gilbert 

Manuel, Steward to Mr. Laroque . . Mr. Kyrle Bellew 

M. de Bevannes, a man of the world Mr. H. Hamilton 
Gaspar Laroque, an aged man, formerly 

Captain of a Privateer .... Mr. E. J. Henley 


Alain, a confidential valet .... Mr. Chas. Herbert 

M. Mouret, a notary Mr. W. H. Pope 

Yvonnet, a Breton shepherd . . . Mr. Herbert Ayling 

Henri Mr S. DuBois 

Louis Mr. J. W. Totten 

Frangois Mr. Howard W. Perry 

Marguerite, daughter of Madame 

Laroque Miss Annie Robe 

Madame Laroque, daughter-in-law to 

Caspar Mme. Ponisi 

Mile. Helouin, a governess .... Miss Helen Russell 
Mme. Aubrey, a relative of the Laroque 

family Miss Fanny Addison 

Christine, a Breton peasant girl . . Miss Carrie Elberts 
Guests, Servants, Peasantry, etc., etc. 

Vocal music under the direction of Mr. W. D. Marks 
Synopsis of Scenery and Incidents 

Prologue — Paris. Manuel's Apartments at Mme. Van Ber- 
ger's Lodging-house. Poverty, Fidelity and Friendship. 

Act I — Brittany. Parlor and Terrace at the Chateau Laroque 
with view of the Park. The Arrival. The First Day 
and its Events. 

{A supposed lapse of Two Months) 

Act n — The Park and Chateau Laroque in the distance. 
Temptations, Trials and Resolutions. 

Act HI — Interior of a Lofty Tower in the Ruins of Elfin, by 
Moonlight. Love and Honor. 

Act IV — Drawing-room of the Chateau Laroque. The Sac- 

Act V — Salon opening on the Gardens and Grounds of the 
Chateau. The Last Trial and its Results. 


On tour. Critics in California. Leong Loey, the Chinese boy. Pur- 
chases of curios. Miss Wormsley has no picture. Travel in 1887. 
Cartoon in The Theatre. Scribners Magazine. Requests for 
articles. Colonel Ingersoll's opinion of the Shakespeare cyphers. 
Charities. George Clarke returns. May Irwin stars. Theatrical 
aspirants. "The Damsel of Darien." Brilliant opening of the 
season of 1887-1888. Pinero's "Dandy Dick." "The Railroad 
of Love." Third great Shakespearian revival in this theatre, 
"A Midsummer Night's Dream." 

My brother now took a lease of Number 14 West Fiftieth 
Street, and gathered there his library and the works of 
art that he had begun to collect to replace those scattered 
by the sale ten years before. This letter tells of some 
acquisitions : 

"Chicago, June 23, 1887. 

... I forgot to tell you of a rare bit of luck I think I have 
had in some recent London purchases — made at the Lonsdale 
sale and secured for me by Harvey of St. James Street. A por- 
trait of Woffington, catalogued 'by Hogarth,' another — a 
miniature of Peg — by Hone — (who was he .?) and the famous 
Gascar painting of Nell Gwynne. Harvey warned me they 
might cost over a thousand pounds ! They sold for less than 
£150 (the three) . . ." 

The following spring he bought the cabinet or secretary 
said to have been used by Garrick in his dressing-room at 
Drury Lane. It was of solid mahogany ebonized and 
gilt, with many compartments, a writing desk, and a 
drawer with a sliding mirror for making up. The piece 
was attributed to Robert and James Adam, and the 



painted copper panels contained eight pictures, chiefly 
by Zoff"any and Wilson, including a portrait of Garrick 
a.?, Hamlet. Zoffany's scenes included "Othello," "Henry 
IV," "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "The Mayor of 
Garratt" (with a portrait of Foote), and "Love in a 
Village," with portraits of Beard, Dunstall, and Shuter. 

In binding his books Augustin always inserted, if 
possible, a portrait of the author or editor ; so when Roberts 
of Boston published their edition of Balzac translated by 
Miss Katharine Wormsley, he applied to them for her 
picture, and was disappointed on learning that she had 
never had one taken. In his opinion the author of a 
published work became, as the constitutional lawyers 
say, "affected by a public interest," and bound to furnish 
a counterfeit presentment when asked for it by the public. 
About this time, it may be noted, Mr. D. E. Cronin 
began his exquisite pen-and-ink illustrations, some of 
which embellished favorite books of my brother's. 
These were usually executed on the margin of the page. 

In San Francisco, to which Daly now paid a fourth 
visit, the press gave a history of his twenty years' labor ; 
telling how he had found the American theatre dominated 
by the star system (Wallack even being the star of his 
own troupe) and had resolved to form his own upon the 
French model, and to look upon his company as a whole, 
regarding its strength as not greater than its weakest 
part; how he had given to his task indomitable energy, 
untiring industry, and eighteen hours a day; had lived 
for his theatre, and sick or well had probably never been 
absent from any single performance since it was first 

My brother returned from California with a little 
Chinese boy about eleven years old, Leong Loey by name, 
son of Leong Tong and Chin Quai Tong his wife, the 


parents having consigned the infant to Mr. Daly for three 
years by Instrument duly executed before the Chinese 
consul. He was sent to school, lived with Mr. and Mrs. 
Daly, and grew to be very fond and proud of them. 
During the season in New York he was to be seen at the 
theatre in the early part of the evening dressed in his 
Oriental best, handing out programmes with great gravity, 
and such impartiality that no person could by any scheme 
or pretence obtain more than his or her rightful share. 
Forty centuries of Chinese civilization looked down upon 
you as he declared: "No havee more than one." 

The trip of a theatrical company to the Pacific coast 
in 1887 was exceedingly expensive owing to the law against 
special rates. Augustin wrote : 

"... The R. R. officials haven't seen so large a check (in 
exact figures ^5885) since the interstate bill, and so they have 
had my check photographed. . . ." 

After leaving Denver, the "Silver City," where the 
audiences paid in "nice, large, round, white, ringing, 
heavy old silver dollars," he wrote : 

"... reaching Cheyenne we found that a cloudburst had 
washed out a mile and a quarter of track. We had to 'lay over' 
in one sleeper all night through a drenching rain, and started 
16^ hours late for Ogden. Arrived at 5 o'clock Saturday morn- 
ing, whereof course we had to change tars, as the Union Pacific 
ends and the Central Pacific begins at that point. We found 
that the C. F. people had no intention of taking us out before 
6 o'clock in the evening, usual time of the regular train. . . . 
I had to telegraph to San Francisco, and after wasting seven 
hours more the Central Pacific authorities finally consented to 
hire me an engine for $1000 . . . and after one or two minor 
interruptions reached San Francisco on Sunday at 8 p.m. 
Heaven only knows what would have been the result of the 
opening (at Baldwin's theatre next day) if I had not been able 


to buy a special engine to bring my company through by Sunday, 
so as to give them a night's rest before playing." 

Which shows one way in which the money so hardly 
earned in the theatrical business is sometimes disposed of. 

At this time (1887) Scribner^s Magazine made its first 
appearance, and on behalf of the publishers, Mr. A. W. 
Paton asked Augustin to give time to the preparation of 
an article : 

"... in which you tell the story of your organizing the first 
American stock company, and of its varied fortunes until at 
last, as is evident by its successes of past years, it has become 
one of the institutions of the Country." 

Augustin never found time to tell the story. Mr. 
Redpath of the North American Review reminded him 
now of an old promise to write on the modern French 
drama, and asked for a paper on any subject. The Bacon- 
Shakespeare controversy was then raging, and Redpath 
wished to know if my brother had anything he would like 
to say about it, adding : 

"... Col. Ingersoll was in the office the other day and said 
that the human race hitherto had been divided into three 
classes : 

L Fools. 

IL D fools. 

in. fools. 

And that now a fourth class had been added : the men with 
the Bacon cypher." 

In addition to his participation in the great annual 
benefits for the Actors' Fund and the Protectory, Augustin 
arranged this season for several special matinees at his 
own theatre, and left to Archbishop Corrigan the selection 
of the beneficiaries. In remembrance of the children he 


had lost he presented to the Church of St. Paul the Apostle 
at ninth Avenue and fifty-ninth street a stained glass 
window for the sanctuary and a baptismal font. 

There were some additions to the company for the 
season of 1887-1888, the most notable being Miss Phoebe 
Russell, a young lady of a prominent Western family, 
and our old acquaintance George Clarke, who had written 
from Norwich, Connecticut, October 21, 1886: 

"... After these many years of ventures and roamings and 
idle dreamings I want to go home — and your theatre was to 
me the happiest home I ever had. . . ." 

Clarke was taken back, and ultimately, on the death of 
John Moore, became stage manager. Daniel Harkins 
also asked for an interview with his former manager, 
writing that he "was once happy in calling Augustin 
Daly friend." Miss Effie Shannon was a most promising 
addition to the company. There was one loss — Miss 
May Irwin, who developed into a star of great attractive- 
ness in eccentric broad comedy. The ambitious Master 
Will Collier wrote to remind his manager that he had 
served as call-boy faithfully for five seasons, and that he 
had always aspired to be a member of the company. He 
had played the Page in the Induction to the "Taming of 
the Shrew" with great credit. 

Now and then I am reminded by old memoranda of the 
care my brother took of every person connected with the 
theatre. There is an ill-spelled letter from some poor 
cleaner who had been discharged by a superior-sub- 
ordinate, and had plucked up courage to make her plaint 
to Mr. Daly. It bears his indorsement to the business 
manager, Mr. Richard Dorney : "See what the trouble 
is. Ask Lizzie, and see the woman herself." 

There were as usual, but now in greater numbers than 


usual, applicants for places in what was regarded as a 
school of acting. Senator Stewart wrote on behalf of his 
niece, Miss Aldrich ; General Sherman for Miss Stacey, 
daughter of an old comrade ; Zimmerman, the Philadelphia 
manager, on behalf of George W. Childs for Miss Vislase ; 
the widow of Dan Bryant for her daughter; and there 
were applications from the daughters of Robert Craig 
(of the old Roi Garotte days) and from Miss Nellie Lin- 
gard, daughter of the one-time partner of George L. 
Fox. Some of the debutantes of the "Royal Middy" 
days were heard from, as well as other professionals then, 
or soon to be, well known — Rose Eytinge, who called 
him "the kindest friend that ever woman had"; Kate 
Vaughan, the English dancer ; Loie Fuller, and Jefferson de 
Angelis, who wrote that he had had "twenty years on the 
stage and only thirty years of existence altogether." 

New plays were offered, including one from the inde- 
fatigable Boucicault, who was now ready to turn his hand 
to anything, even to adapting; but after one or two 
trials he gave that up. Wilkie Collins proposed a drama- 
tization of his last story ; Julian Hawthorne and his 
brother-in-law, George Parsons Lathrop, were at work 
upon a play ; Mary Kyle Dallas, Mrs. Craigie, and J. 
Huntley McCarthy were similarly engaged ; Blanche 
Willis Howard offered her "Bachelor Ladies," Jerome 
K. Jerome a farce in one act, and Anna Katherine Green a 
dramatization of her latest novel. American dramatists 
were further represented by J. C. Verplanck, G. E. Mont- 
gomery, Lucy Rider, and Edmund Terry, a member of 
the New York bar. A quaint proposition came from Mr. 
Thomas Duff, an old actor of leading "heavies," son of 
Mrs. Mary Duff, a favorite of the old Park Theatre days, 
whose portrait hangs in The Players. She had in years 
gone by dramatized an American historical romance of 


the Isthmus of Panama, by Dr. Bird (author of Forrest's 
"Gladiator"), entitled "The Damsel of the Darien," 
and her son now offered the interesting manuscript to 
Mr. Daly "to fit to the public taste for a long run." 

The season opened on the evening of October 5, 1887, 
with a new farce by Pinero, "Dandy Dick," satirizing the 
sportswomen of Great Britain, their language and their 
manners. It was quite out of the line of Daly's Theatre, 
but was presented with vivacity. Miss Rehan became 
a typical "sporting Duchess," but much more surprising 
was Drew, made up to represent a wilted old military beau 
of dejected mien, given to small "at homes," where he 
played a melancholy flute, accompanying Lieutenant 
Darbey (Skinner) as first violin. A finished bit of decep- 
tion was the simulated playing by Drew and Skinner to 
a piano accompaniment by Miss Shannon. The first- 
night audience, a crowded and most distinguished one, 
was greatly entertained by the farce, which was, however, 
acted only thirty-two times. It then gave way to a new 
German comedy. 

"The Railroad of Love," Daly's adaptation of "Gold- 
fische," the work of Von Schonthan and Kadelburg, 
was one of the daintiest as well as the strongest comedies 
ever done at Daly's Theatre. The acting of Miss Rehan 
and Mr. Drew in the delicious episodes of the play elicited 
extraordinary praise. On the first night Henry Irving 
and Miss Ellen Terry occupied a box, and during the run 
of the play Charles Dickens the younger wrote : 

"If Miss Rehan and Mr. Drew as Cousin Val and the Lieu- 
tenant do not make the greatest comedy success that Lon- 
don has seen for years I shall be very much surprised." 

After the brilliant comedy had been acted over a 
hundred times the third great Shakespearian revival, "A 


Midsummer Night's Dream," succeeded it on January 31, 
1888. It was fifteen years since this play had been seen 
in New York. It had not been customary or convenient 
to produce it with a star in any part except that of 
Bottom; hence its production was usually resorted to for 
the exhibition of scenic effects or the comic powers of 
the low comedian. Miss Rehan as Helena, Mr. Drew as 
Demetrius, Mr. Skinner as Lysander, and Mr. Lewis as 
Bottom constituted a veritable star cast. The press was 
enthusiastic, and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" was 
played until the close of the season, April 7, 1888. 
This past season was remarkable in that only three 
productions held the stage during 229 performances. 

It was during the run of *'A Midsummer Night's 
Dream" that the memorable blizzard of March 12, 1888, 
overwhelmed the city. Notwithstanding the difficulties 
of travel every member of the company was at the 
theatre, and the performance was given. Some members 
of the cast came from Brooklyn and some from Harlem. 
I believe that every other theatre in the city was closed 
that night. 

At the usual New Year's Eve gathering in the Woffing- 
ton room Mr. Daly divided a portion of this season's 
profits among the members of his company who had been 
longest with him. He was able also this year to give his 
father-in-law, John A. DuflF, very substantial financial aid 
after a bad season at the Standard. 


Literary work. "Woffington, a Tribute to the Actress and the Woman, 
by Augustin Daly." American and EngHsh reviewers. Daly's 
tribute to his own company, "A Portfolio of Players," written by 
several hands and published by the manager. Demonstration by 
the profession for Lester Wallack upon his retirement. A benefit 
performance got up by Booth, Barrett, Palmer, and Daly. Corre- 
spondence. Volunteers. "Hamlet" given by a remarkable cast. 
$20,000 realized for Mrs. Wallack. Fates of actor-managers 
compared. Death of Wallack. Subsequent history of Wallack's 
Theatre. A. M. Palmer takes it and changes the name to "Pal- 
mer's Theatre." Richard Mansfield's first great success made 
there. Stars introduced. Name restored when Palmer leaves. 
John Gilbert would have engaged with Daly, but his death pre- 
vented. Founding of The Players by Booth and his associates. 

One of the most sumptuous volumes ever devoted to the 
biography of a player is the life of Margaret Woffington 
published by Daly in this year, 1888, after long prepara- 
tion. In his preface the author tells of the charm which 
her name had had for him long before he found her 
idealized in Charles Reade's novel, and of his surprise 
that no biographer had done for her what Cunningham 
has done for Nell Gwyn and Boaden for Mrs. Jordan : 

" I found the large-hearted and clear-headed Woffington al- 
vi^ays faithful to the management of the theatre in which she was 
engaged ; consulting the interests of the public rather than 
listening to the promptings of vanity or to the injudicious 
flattery of friends. Never would she disappoint an audience 
or abet an insurrection against the orderly administration of 
the theatre. I find her in London, and in Dublin also, when at 
the very apex of public admiration, surrendering leading parts 



in plays to lesser performers, and accepting seconds. She was 
rewarded for all this by a popularity which has never been sur- 
passed in the history of the stage." 

Mr. Daly's work was praised by the reviewers in 
England and America. They noted that the real story 
of Peg Woffington had never before been written, and 
that it was now simply and clearly told in this book, in 
which the statements of fact were convincing, the infer- 
ences logical, and the remarks of the author upon theatrical 
matters valuable as expert testimony. "To Mr. Daly 
must belong the credit of writing a memoir of searching 
truth and accuracy which for the first time puts his subject 
before us sympathetically, naturally, tenderly, with all 
her faults, failings, and many virtues contrasted, and the 
story of her life told at last with the 'rarity of Christian 
charity' that so few biographers possess. . . . Another 
conspicuous value of this memoir is the fact that it has 
been written by one who has spent his life amongst stage 
people, who knows them by heart, who understands their 
trials and temptations. . . . No one who looks at Peg 
Woffington's handsome, kindly face or reads carefully 
through the details of her generous life will be likely to 
agree with Horace Walpole, who loved to be in a minority 
and could only think her 'an impudent Irish-faced girl !'" 

Of the book, which was a royal quarto, but one hundred 
and fifty copies were printed, and Bouton, the book-seller, 
was allowed a small number to sell. The rest were given 
away. Some "large paper" copies were struck off, and 
two copies were printed on thick paper on one side of the 
leaf only. 

Mr. Daly prized his own company to an extent im- 
possible to any mere hirer of professional labor — only 
the Inspirer of effort and creator of opportunity being ca- 
pable of it ; and now he resolved to offer its chief members 


an enduring testimonial. Brander Matthews, Lawrence 
Hutton, A. C. Bunner, and William Winter were invited to 
contribute to a volume to be called "A Portfolio of Players 
with a Packet of Notes Thereon." There were portraits 
of Miss Rehan, Lewis, Miss Dreher, Mrs. Gilbert, Drew, 
and Fisher. Mr. Winter furnished a paper upon the 
stage, past and present, and Mr. Dithmar an account of 
the room in Daly's Theatre where the plays were read to 
the company. At the end of the volume we find verses 
by Mr. Bunner : "To a reader of the twenty-first cen- 
tury," concluding : 

"You have the pictures and the names 
That are but Yours as they are Fame's; 
See them, O dim potential shade. 
Even as we see them now arrayed ; 
Try to put nature's vital hue 
Into the faces that you view ; 
And think, while fancy labors thus, 
This all is breathing life to us." 

A portrait of Mr. Daly was followed by a copy of Sarony's 
large picture, "The Reading of a Play," to illustrate Dith- 
mar's article, showing the above-named performers to- 
gether with Mr. Skinner, Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Clarke, Mr. 
Leclercq, Mr. Bell, Mr. Moore, Mr. Holland, Miss Phoebe 
Russell, Miss Fanny Morant, Miss Bijou Fernandez, 
and the Chinese boy, Leong Loey, as auditors surrounding 
Mr. Daly. 

The event of Mr. Wallack's recent retirement from 
management and from the stage was not to pass unnoticed 
by managers, actors, and public. As early as December, 
1886, Mr. Daly and Mr. Palmer had exchanged views 
concerning some public expression of professional regard 
for Wallack — then incapacitated by illness. Booth, 


Lawrence Barrett, and Jefferson were taken into their 
confidence, and Florence, Madame Janauschek, and Wil- 
son Barrett were asked to participate. Action was de- 
layed for a season at Mr. Wallack's suggestion, but in 
1888 the following correspondence was made public : 

"New York, March 10, 1888. 

Dear Mr. Wallack — We are very anxious to testify in some 
special manner our regard for the manager and artist who 
for more than a quarter of a century has been the leader and 
chief of our guild. A year ago we proposed that you per- 
mit us to inaugurate some public demonstration in your 
honor, but you did not seem to think it timely. We feel 
now like insisting upon your acceptance of the expression 
of regard which we are sure that all your managerial co- 
laborers, your professional brethren, your journalistic ad- 
mirers and your social friends are but waiting for a word 
from you to utter in the fulness of their hearts. We have 
thought of some exceptional play with a unique cast as giving 
the most fitting outlet for this sentiment, and as aff^ording the 
best opportunity to unite every element of friendly interest in 
your behalf, and we beg that you will favorably consider the 
spirit in which we urge your present acceptance of our proposal. 
We also beg of you an early reply, in order that we may fix a 
date within the limits of the present season for the contem- 
plated performance. 

Augustin Daly, 
A. M. Palmer." 

Mr. Wallack's reply: 

"No. 213 West Twenty-fourth Street 
March 24, 1888. 

Dear Mr. Daly, Dear Mr. Palmer : — 

The reception of your letter of the 19th is the most valued 
and gratifying incident of a long and somewhat eventful 
professional life. 


You ask me to favorably consider the spirit in which you urge 
my acceptance of your proposal. All I can say is that the 
spirit and tone of the letter is so kind, so considerate, so flatter- 
ing, that I should deem it ungracious in me did I make any 
reply but one of willing and grateful acceptance. Need I add 
that, coming as it does from old friends and fellow managers, 
it has a double value. One thing I would suggest : — If you 
could point out in the disposing of the pecuniary result some 
way by which I could adequately convey my feeling that my 
chief and by far my greatest gratification is the honor conferred 
upon me, I should take a still greater pride in accepting it. 

Believe me most sincerely yours 

Lester Wallack." 

The demonstration was to be in the form of a dramatic 
entertainment. Mr. Booth wrote : 

"A varied bill for such an occasion (unless one of Mr. Wal- 
lack's performances were given) would be by far the strongest 
for the masses." 

and offered the fourth act of "Richelieu" as his own con- 
tribution. Lawrence Barrett, writing to Mr. Daly that 
his personal services and those of his company would be 
gladly given, added : 

"And I venture to express the hope that the aflFair may be 
made worthy of the distinguished object by the avoidance of 
those unworthy mixtures which usually degrade such events. 
To hold the testimonial in the hands of the actors who have 
pursued equal aims with Mr. Wallack, and to depend upon such 
aid alone, giving distinct and worthy representations of each 
actor's speciality, seems to me the way in which you will be 
certain to act in this affair, which may safely be trusted in the 
hands of Mr. Palmer and yourself." 

Mr. Jefferson offered an act of "Rip Van Winkle" or 
"Lend Me Five Shillings," saying: 


"They are 'chestnuts,' I know, but the public still like to 
crack them." 

The result of the discussion was a great compliment 
to Edwin Booth ; for all the participants agreed upon 
" Hamlet," with Booth in the role which he had practically- 
made his own on the American stage, and the most 
eminent of the tragedian's fellow players in the remain- 
ing parts. Barrett was to arrange the cast and Daly 
and Palmer were to carry out his views, if possible. 

Mr. Daly was delighted to announce that JeflFerson 
volunteered at once for the First Grave-digger, and Florence 
for the Second of that famous pair. In a later letter 
Barrett offered himself for Laertes, announced John 
Gilbert for Polonius, and, cogitating how to get the bene- 
ficiary himself on the stage on the eventful night, added 
a postscript: 

"Dare we say Osric to Wallack .'' Get behind a stone wall 
and toss it at him." 

Mr. Daly and Mr, Palmer did not act upon the suggestion, 
but reserved Mr. Wallack for a speech which was sure 
to be demanded. The cast finally determined upon was : 
Hamlet, Edwin Booth ; The Ghost, Lawrence Barrett ; 
The King, Frank Mayo ; Polonius, John Gilbert ; Laertes, 
Eben Plympton ; Horatio, John A. Lane ; Rosencranz, 
Charles Hanford ; Guildenstern, Lawrence Hanley ; Osric, 
Charles Koehler ; Marcellus, E. H. Vanderfelt ; Bernardo, 
Herbert Kelcey ; Francisco, Frank Mordaunt ; First 
Actor, Joseph Wheelock ; Second Actor, Milnes Levick ; 
First Grave-digger, Joseph Jefferson ; Second Grave-digger, 
W. J. Florence ; Priest, Harry Edwards ; Ophelia, Helena 
Modjeska ; The Queen, Gertrude Kellogg ; The Player 
Queen, Rose Coghlan. 

But these did not represent all the stage favorites 


who appeared ; for, when " Scene II, a Room of State In the 
Castle," disclosed the Court of Denmark with "Lords and 
Attendants," the audience recognized Rosina Voices, 
Selina Dolaro, Blanche Weaver, Louisa Eldridge, Ida 
Vernon, Madame Ponisi, Isabelle Irving, Courtenay 
Thorpe, Stella Boniface, Katharine Rogers, Mrs. W. G. 
Jones, and many others. The orchestral music was 
furnished by the Symphony Society, directed by Walter 
Damrosch, who gave selections from Wagner, Bach, 
Berlioz, Saint-Saens, and Rubinstein. 

A vast throng filled the opera-house. In response 
to its demand at the close of the second act, Mr. Lester 
Wallack appeared and spoke his last lines on the stage. 
He said that his gratitude and sense of the tribute could 
not be adequately expressed ; that he would not discuss 
his forty years of endeavor to serve the public honestly 
and faithfully ; that he saw before him evidence that 
It believed in his honesty and sincerity. He quoted 
Charlotte Cushman, "Art is an exacting mistress, but she 
repays with royal munificence," and said that he found 
ample confirmation of her words in what he now beheld. 
He declared it a delicate matter to select names from 
the great array on the programme In order to tender his 
acknowledgments for this magnificent tribute, which 
originated with two great managers (Palmer and Daly) 
and three great actors (Booth, Barrett, and Jefferson). 
One great artist who had appeared (Mme. Modjeska) he 
said he had not even the pleasure of knowing personally; 
he spoke of Miss Rosina Vokes, who had closed her theatre 
to assist with her presence ; and concluded by thanking the 
public, the press, the dramatists, the actors and actresses, 
the musicians, the mechanics — he excepted none — and 
wishing he could shake each by the hand. 

The testimonial was a great pecuniary success, as 


appears from a letter of Mr. Palmer, upon whom, owing 
to Mr. Daly's departure for Europe with his company 
in April, the burden of staging the performance devolved, 
with the aid of his own and Mr. Daly's lieutenants : 

"Madison Square Theatre, 

Manager's Office, May 22, 1888. 
Dear Mr. Daly 

Our blessed benefit is over — thank God ! As you can imag- 
ine, I am thoroughly worn out with the attention to petty 
details which it has required from me during the past three 
weeks. The performance was really a splendid one. Booth, 
Jeff^erson & Modjeska covering themselves with glory. Not 
the least pleasing feature was the auxiliary corps, comprised of 
actors & actresses to the number of one hundred & fifty. If the 
performance had achieved no other result than to prove, as it 
did, that the members of our profession will go further than 
those of almost any other in the direction of devotion to a true 
and lofty sentiment, it would always remain with me as one 
of the pleasantest recollections of my life; and I am sure if you 
had been here this feature of it would have touched you deeply. 
... I am glad to note your new triumphs in England, and I 
sincerely hope they will continue. Theatrical matters are, 
generally, very dull here. 

Yours sincerely, 

A. M. Palmer. 
Augustin Daly Esqr. 

I have just handed Mrs. Wallack a certified check for $20,000. 
The expenses were about $1700." 

Wallack was financially the least fortunate of all the 
great manager-actors of his time, perhaps because, like 
Henry Irving, he would not towards the end abandon the 
noble aim and duty of conducting a theatre upon high 
principles of art for the more limited but more remunera- 
tive work of the actor. Burton retired with a competence ; 


Booth with a fortune. Jefferson avoided management. 
Wallack at the age of sixty-eight was forced to see his 
fortunes decline and to lose his theatre. He did not long 
survive to enjoy the provision his fellow players had 
united to secure for him. The cable of congratulation 
he sent to Mr. Daly upon the production of "The Shrew" 
at the Gaiety Theatre in London on May 7, 1888, was 
followed too soon by news of his death. 

Wallack's Theatre was now in the market, and rumor 
induced the following cable from its proprietor to Mr. 
Daly in London on July 8 : 

"Any truth in statement you want to buy Wallack's ? 
Answer. Theodore Moss." 

But Mr. Daly had no such intention, and Mr. Palmer 
took it over in October, changed its name to "Palmer's 
Theatre" (which caused much comment), and conducted 
it for eight years, principally as a star theatre. After 
that period the name "Wallack's Theatre" was restored 
by Mr. Moss. Mr. Palmer's term was notable for the 
revelation of Mr. Richard Mansfield's extraordinary 
ability as the Baron Chevrial, and the engagements of 
Coquelin and Mme. Jane Hading, Salvini, Wyndham, the 
Kendalls, and nearly all the travelling theatrical and 
musical combinations of the day, alternating with Mr. 
Palmer's own stock company. 

The most important member of the old Wallack com- 
pany was John Gilbert, and he now turned to a theatre 
and a management for which he had had a very great 
admiration for years : 

"Wallack's, New York, 

,, J ,, T^ , March 30, 1888. 

My dear Mr. Daly : -^ ' 

If it is not too late do you feel inclined to treat with me for 

the next season at your Theatre ? 


Whatever may be the result of this letter, I hope it will not 

interfere with the pleasant relations that have hitherto existed 

between us. 

Very Respectfully 

Your obt. servant 

John Gilbert." 

Mr. Gilbert's engagement was prevented by his death. 

The close companionship between Booth, Barrett, 
Palmer, and Daly in the project of honoring the veteran 
Wallack led to an interchange of views upon the founding 
in New York of an institution resembling in character 
the Garrick Club in London, where the theatrical pro- 
fession could mingle with members of the literary and 
artistic world. At a luncheon at Delmonico's, where the 
principals were joined by Mark Twain, Thomas Bailey 
Aldrich, Laurence Hutton, Brander Matthews, Stephen 
H. Olin, John Drew, James Lewis, and others, the pre- 
liminaries were adjusted and the name of "The Players," 
suggested by Mr, Aldrich, was adopted for the new in- 
stitution. Mr. Olin was commissioned to prepare articles 
of incorporation. Stanford White immediately under- 
took the remodelling of No. i6 Gramercy Park, which 
Booth, with the approval of his associates and the assist- 
ance of his old and valued friend, William Bispham, 
purchased and presented to The Players. 

SEVENTH PERIOD: 1888-1892 


1888 continued. Supper to Irving and Miss Terry. Third visit to 
England. Letter from The Times in New York to The Times in 
London. "The Railroad of Love" at the Gaiety Theatre. "The 
Taming of the Shrew." The Americans entertained by John Hare, 
the Green Room Club, Justin McCarthy, Lady Jeune, and others. 
Luncheon given by the Lord Mayor. Theatrical business light. 
Visit to Stratford. First performance of "The Taming of the 
Shrew" in Shakespeare's birthplace. A memorable night. Many 
courtesies. Second visit of the Daly company to Paris. Shake- 
speare's comedy condemned. The feuilletonists in great form. 
Marvellous display of English. Praise of the actors. 

Before taking his company upon a third visit to Europe, 
Augustin gave a supper for Irving and Miss Terry at 
Delmonlco's (March 26) after their season of five weeks 
at the Star Theatre. The company sailed on April 
21, 1888. 

He had lately added to his library the four Shakespeare 
folios, two copies of the first edition of "Paradise Lost" 
(one with the poet's autograph), a ten-volume collection 
of Garrickana, and manuscripts of Doctor Johnson. His 
old friend George Jones of the New York Times wrote to 
him on April 5 : 

"Your letter and the two splendid volumes (Woffington and 
the 'Portfolio of Players') were received with sincere pleasure 
and merit my warmest thanks. I have always felt that you 
were a graduate from The Times, and have sympathized with 
you in your troubles and rejoiced In your triumphs and feel 
that your fortune Is assured. I send you a letter to my dearest 
friend in London, Mr. MacDonald, the manager of The Times. 



I hope you will not fail to deliver it. I want you to see the 
establishment under full headway, with him as your guide. I 
am sure you will fall in love with him as I did years ago. He 
it was who built our Presses, taking my son in to learn all that 
he could show him. ... I hope that your visit abroad will 
be a repetition of your last year's successes. More I could not 


Faithtully yours, 

Geo. Jones." 

"The Railroad of Love" was produced at the Gaiety 
Theatre on May 3, 1888. The scenes between Miss 
Rehan and Mr. Drew caused great delight. 

Mr. Daly was made honorary member of the Garrick 
and the Saville clubs. John Hare, manager of the St. 
James Theatre, gave him and the company a supper at 
the Garrick on June 9, at which every distinguished 
London manager, dramatic author, and actor was present, 
with Millais, Henry James, Du Maurier, Ambassador 
Phelps, and the Earls of Lathorn, Londesborough, and 
Cork and Orrery. At the annual dinner of the Green 
Room Club, Drew, Lewis, Skinner, and William Winter 
were guests of honor ; suppers at the House were given 
by Justin McCarthy and T. P. O'Connor, and the com- 
pany was entertained by Mrs. Jeune and T. W. Robertson. 
The midnight supper, at which Mr. McCarthy was host 
and his charming daughter hostess, was delightful, 
Henry Irving received the company at his country house 
as well as at supper In the Lyceum. The Lord Mayor 
and Lady Mayoress gave Mr. Daly and his party a 
luncheon at the Mansion House, which was attended by 
a very distinguished assemblage. 

The Daly company. In return for the many courtesies 
extended to it, volunteered in aid of two annual pro- 
fessional benefits — that of the Royal Theatrical Fund 


on June 7 at Drury Lane, and that of The Actors' 
Benevolent Fund on June 28 at the Lyceum. 

Irving sent a telegram on their arrival, "Love and 
greeting to one and all," and a note on the opening night : 

"Dear Daly 

I wish I could be with you to-night. You'll have all the 
success that your hearts can desire, and no one wishes it more 
earnestly than 

Yours truly 

Henry Irving." 

"The Taming of the Shrew," produced on May 29, 
was the first performance of a Shakespearian comedy 
by an American company in Europe. The Times stated 
that, with the exception of Phelps' revival of the piece 
twenty-five years before, "no such rendering of this play 
has been seen on the English stage . . . and until it 
occurred to Mr. Daly last year to attempt a resuscitation 
of the piece in the shape in which it left Shakespeare's 
hands, it seemed as if this comedy were fated to rank as 
the most despised and rejected of the poet's productions" ; 
that it "has received but scant justice from the profes- 
sional interpreters — so at least it would now appear — 
in view of this splendid revival of the comedy, which, 
sumptuously mounted and acted with admirable spirit 
and point, keeps the house throughout its five acts in a 
state of continuous merriment." The press did not 
consider the restoration of the Induction valuable, but 
the inclusion of the underplot of Bianca was allowed 
to be important as throwing into relief the scenes of 
Katherine and Petruchio, — "It is difficult otherwise to 
account for the greatly increased interest which Mr. Daly 
and his company have been able to arouse in this play. 
Those who have known it in the current acting form will 


be agreeably surprised at the wealth of dramatic material 
thus brought to light" {Times). 
Augustin wrote to me on June 9 : 

"I think London is about the last place to manage a theatre 
in. If you have a good play with a job cast and no company 
to drain you, you can run for a year and make perhaps (once 
in a lifetime) £10,000 or £12,000 — but then you must retire 
if you want to save that." 

Again, June 12 : 

"The performance is positively the talk of all London — 
think of that; and yet my highest receipts so far reached only 
£204 (Saturday night). Monday £157, Tuesday £155. . . . 
I doubt if I will ever be foolish enough to give so much good 
time to London again. . . ." 

Yet his business, compared with that at the other London 
theatres, was particularly fine, and he was congratulated 
upon it by everybody. 

Towards the last of June I joined Augustin in London. 
I arrived in time to be present at the Lord Mayor's 
luncheon, and above all at the never-to-be-forgotten event, 
"The Taming of the Shrew," at the Memorial Theatre 
in Stratford-on-Avon. On July 31 the company con- 
cluded a season of thirteen weeks, and the long run of 
"The Shrew" had changed my brother's views about 
revisiting London. In his farewell speech before the 
curtain, he promised to come back. A voice: "Don't 
wait too long !" 

The performance at Stratford was for the benefit of 
the Shakespeare Memorial, and the visit interested the 
whole countryside. It was made most agreeable by the 
attentions of Sir Arthur Hodgson, the Mayor of Stratford, 
Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Flower, Mrs. Leith Adams, Mr. 


Robert S. de C. Laffan, head master of the King Edward 
VI Grammar School, and Mrs. Laffan, Lord Ronald 
Gower, and Mr. F. Hawley of the "Memorial." The 
company, after a trip of four hours by special express 
from London, arrived at dusk, and the principals were 
put up at the Red Horse Inn. Mr. and Mrs. Daly and 
party dined at Clopton Hall (about a mile from the 
town), the residence of Sir Arthur Hodgson, and the 
ancient seat of the Barons whose tombs decorate the 
Stratford Church. The Lord of the Induction is sup- 
posed to be the Baron Clopton of Shakespeare's day, 
and the hall in which the revels were held before 
Christopher Sly that in which we were now entertained 
by the Mayor of Stratford, assisted by Lady Hodgson 
and her daughters Lady Lifford and Miss Hodgson, on 
the evening of August 2. The next morning the com- 
pany were invited to luncheon at Avonbank, the residence 
of Mr. Charles Flower, by Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Flower, to 
meet a distinguished company. Mr. and Mrs. Laffan 
gave a tea at the school, and the performance took place 
that evening in the Memorial Theatre, which was crowded 
by the Warwickshire County families who drove over, 
some from a great distance, in compliment to their Ameri- 
can visitors. 

This was the first performance of "The Taming of the 
Shrew" given in Stratford, so far as is known. Mr. Daly 
was elected one of the Governors of the Shakespeare 
Memorial. He had already presented its library with 
books and pictures, and he continued to do so while he 

From Stratford the company went to Glasgow to give 
two performances, and then separated for a four-weeks' 
holiday, to meet in Paris. On the second visit of Mr. 
Daly to Paris, the journalists ceased to lament his assault 


upon the citadel of art, and devoted themselves to 
Shakespeare. Some ignorance of his work was manifested 
in unexpected quarters. M. Sarcey, the leading critic, 
confessed that he never could understand Shakespearian 
comedy; that it was "illogical," and that "there was 
nothing in it." M. Vitu wrote: "Every nation has its 
own way of laughing, not comprehended beyond its 
frontiers. Schlegel denied that Moliere was comic. I 
will not go so far as to say the same of Shakespeare. He 
may be comic — he is certainly coarse — that is his 

It was interesting to hear from other quarters that 
Shakespeare's glory is more French than English ; that 
France has lauded him beyond any other nation ; that 
the English may act him well enough, but that it is not 
certain they understand him — • for instance, they do not 
go to see Othello played by Irving, but to see Irving play 
Othello. Along with this came the statement from Sardou 
that he would give no opinion of the acting of "The 
Taming of the Shrew," the piece being so novel to his 
experience. Catulle Mendes characterized the work as 
a masterpiece of realistic conception, but "totally unfit 
for stage representation." 

Le Petit Journal exclaimed, "Have we not the right to 
be surprised that a company of this originaUty, playing in 
the language of the author, should select for infliction 
upon the French the flattest, most insignificant and 
absolutely wearisome and ridiculous piece in a repertoire 
which is one of the richest in the world ^ Would the 
Comedie Fran^aise playing in London in French give Le 
Mariage Force as a specimen of Moliere.'"' This was 
an unfortunate instance, for that piece was actually given 
at the Theatre Frangaise that season for the instruction of 
the holiday crowd of foreigners, who beheld the bridegroom 


Sganarelle on the classic stage hurling paving stones from 
the street at one philosopher in the balcony, belaboring 
another pedant with his fists, and finally cudgelled by the 
brother of the bride until he consented to keep his prom- 
ise ; yet we find Sardou writing to deny the report that 
he had characterized Miss Rehan and Mr. Drew as "too 
violent," and explaining that he was only "intimating 
that they might modify their pugilistic encounter"; 
that he must be understood "as merely suggesting that 
Shakespeare does not shine by the delicacy of his works ; 
that he is brutal and coarse, as his public was." 

Le Gaulois, whose writers like those of many other French 
journals could only judge by the gestures and pantomime 
of the players, discussed with horror the box on the ear 
that Katherine gives Petruchio, and wondered that Mr. 
Daly, having the choice of so many heroic characters 
evoked by the genius of the poet, should have been at- 
tracted by Katherine the Shrew. Gil Bias, however, while 
of opinion that the play must be ranked among the 
secondary works of the poet, found it nevertheless full 
of charm and sincerity, and in the unfolding of the action 
and the multitude of episodes that spring from it, mani- 
festing continuously the theatrical genius of the author; 
but thought that Miss Rehan "interpreted the character 
with a violence altogether Shakespearian." 

A writer in Le Petit Journal recognized in Miss Rehan 
and Mr. Drew artists of ability, but wished to see them in 
real comedy parts and not in farce. He remarked that 
hitherto when called to the theatre, it had been to judge 
acting and not to analyze buffoonery, and concluded : 
"Pauvre Shakespeare! What crimes are committed in 
thy name, and how fortunate that thou hast been dead 
some time !" 

The handicap of playing in a tongue foreign to the 


auditors is undeniable. The inability to interest by the 
word concentrates attention upon the action. Whatever 
is strange in manner remains so to the end, unrelieved 
by appeal to the intellect. That the players could sur- 
mount this difficulty as they did, was a very decided 
victory. "The attitudes, movements, walk, speech, and 
action of these Americans," said Figaro, "are so different 
from what we are accustomed to see and hear that there 
would neither be justice nor profit in criticising them. 
It is another race, another conception, another art." 
The writer then enumerates the long line of actresses who, 
he believes, had attempted the role of Katherine in England 
as well as in America down to the time of Miss Rehan, 
and exclaims: "Let us stop here, at this one. Even 
from our point of view the superior qualities of Miss 
Ada Rehan can be recognized. Her stature and singular 
beauty present the image of a Scandinavian divinity of the 
Valhalla. Nothing can be more singular than the panther- 
like cries that provoke the first attack of Petruchio, and 
the noble and penetrating diction of Katherine^s final 
submission." Le Soir affirmed Mdlle. Rehan to be "a 
comedienne of race — very beautiful, very distinguished, 
rendering the part of Katherine like a great artist, ac- 
claimed by the whole house, French as well as American. 
. . . It was a great success and she deserved it." Le 
Soleil did not single out the principals of the cast alone 
for commendation: "All merit praise because the Daly 
company is distinguished above everything by its en- 
semble." Figaro found that Drew resembled Irving ! 

There was much space given to biographies of Mr. Daly 
(generally inaccurate) and to an account of French rep- 
resentations of the piece. From this we learn that Clozel 
and Mademoiselle Adeline in 1804 produced "La Jeune 
Fcmme en Colere," by Etienne, at the Theatre Louvois, 


that it was last played in the Rue Richelieu, in 1855, and 
that the scenes of Petruchio and Katherine (Emile and 
Rose) were transformed by Etienne with a lightness of 
touch and delicacy of hand altogether seductive ; and 
the writer (in Figaro) inquires why the Comedie Fran^aise 
or the Odeon has not revived that work in homage to 
Shakespeare, or at least to Etienne! 

The newspaper columns were thrown open of course 
to the feuilletonists. He of Le Gaulois described his visit 
to the play. He there met an editor of the New York 
Herald. "He inquired of me how I could give an opinion 
upon an English play when I did not know a word of 
English ? I have the gift of tongues. Each time that 
the curtain falls I perceive that an act is over. When the 
scene changes I comprehend that the locahty is not the 
same. When the audience applauds I say to myself 
'That's good !' When they laugh I say to myself 'That 
was something funny!' When everybody gets up to go 
out I know that the show is over ; and when the box opener 
hands me my overcoat I know she expects a fee," — and 
so on for half a column. La Soiree Parisienne boasted a 
most indefatigable space writer, to whom English of 
London was evidently not "unknowe": 

"The boulevard des Capucins last night was no longer in 
Paris. From all sides serious and silent crowds — the men in 
severe black, the women in blue, rose, green, yellow, but with 
clear skins and plenty of hair — arrived at the Vaudeville, with 
exclamations of never-ending surprise in a language as barbarous 
as it was strange. There were mutual recognitions : 

Oh, Sir Crokmerott ! 

Oh, Madame Trowsers I 

Can it be ? 

Is it possible 1 

How do you do } 


Very well, thank you, madame. And how are you ? 

Quite well, sir, thank God. 

Then a shake hand without end. It was Broadway, the 
grand artery of New York, going to see the Company of 
Augustin Daly in The Taming of the Shrew, la Sauvage Appri- 
voisee, or more literally I'apprivoisement de la mauvaise tete^ of 
the great William Shakespeare." 

Le Gaulois had an opportune article on the theatres of 
New York. In it we are informed that the principal 
theatres are on Broadway — "Wallack's, burnt in 1887, 
and rebuilt with inconceivable rapidity," Daly's, Niblo's, 
Varieties, the Metropolitan Opera House, and the Madison 
Square Garden ; that grand and comic opera are given 
at the Metropolitan, classical comedy, Shakespeare and 
vaudeville at Wallack's and Daly's, melodrama at the 
Madison, houffes in the style of the Palais Royal at 
Niblo's, operetta and cafe concerts at the Casino, and at 
Barnum's Circus, races, hippodromes, and dog-fights. 
With regard to the audiences it is observed that the ladies 
come in evening dress, remove their hats and give the 
stalls an air as sumptuous as it is lively. It is also re- 
marked that the audience applauds little, and when trans- 
ported, whistles. 

Besides "The Taming of the Shrew," "Nancy & Co." 
and "The Railroad of Love" were given at the Vaude- 
ville, and the general Interest in those performances is 
evidenced by the receipts for six days, which exceeded 
those of each of the three principal theatres of Paris. 


Daly's connection with the scheme of celebrating the centennial of 
Washington's inauguration. Discourages the idea of reviving the 
Revolutionary drama. Is consulted about the triumphal arch in 
Washington Square. Supper to Booth. His dislike of speech- 
making. First Founders' Night at The Players. Florence at the 
New Year celebration in the theatre. Projects. Jefferson's 
portrait in "appropriate" bronze. A scholarship in Shakespeare's 
school. Murdock's benefit. Dedication of Volume IV of the 
Bankside Shakespeare to Daly. Actors and the contract labor 
act. Benefit to Max Maretzek. Gariboldi's embroidered silk 
curtain for the theatre. Miss Virginia Dreher marries and leaves 
the stage. Mrs. Gilbert's alarming experience. Death of John 
Gilbert. Edwin Booth's apoplectic attack. New assault upon 
the copyright of "Under the Gaslight." Aspirants for a place in 
Daly's. The youngest Worrell sister. A fraudulent Wallack's 
Theatre company stranded in Arkansas. Plays. Mark Twain, 
and why he enjoyed the particular esteem of his children. 

The committee on the celebration of the centennial of 
Washington's inauguration as first President of the 
United States, of which Hamilton Fish was Chairman, 
asked Mr. Daly to name some persons to represent, with 
himself, the theatres. He named Henry E. Abbey and 
A. M. Palmer, managers ; William Winter, critic ; Bronson 
Howard, dramatist; Edward Harrigan, actor-dramatist; 
Joseph N. Ireland, historian ; and Joseph Jefferson, James 
E. Murdoch, W. J. Florence, John Gilbert, and James 
Lewis, actors. Booth was a member of the general 
committee. A play was suggested on a theme of the 
revolutionary period. Mr. Daly wrote on the subject : 

"My dear Palmer, 

I quite agree with you that no good end — either patriotic 
or otherwise — would be served in reviving, or reproducing 



(because there could be no 'revival' of such thoroughly dead 
and buried plays as those suggested to us by the Centennial 
Committee) works that our Revolutionary predecessors offered 
for the entertainment of their guests lOO years ago. The com- 
munication came to me in such a roundabout way (Mrs. 
Somebody wrote to somebody who suggested that another 
somebody should communicate with Mr. Palmer and Mr. Daly) 
that I think the simplest as well as the wisest course will be to 
let the matter drop of its own density and weight. If you 
think a letter ought to go in reply let me know when you will 
come and talk it over and I'll be glad to see you. 

A. Daly." 

Another project happily and adequately carried out 
by the public-spirited W. Rhinelander Stewart occa- 
sioned the following letter from a well-known citizen : 

"i Fifth Avenue, Mar. 23d. 
My dear Mr. Daly, 

Some gentlemen are arranging to have a large triumphal 
arch erected on 5th Av. at its lower end, and are much exercised 
to find a competent person to control the decoration in con- 
formity with the plans of the designer of the arch. The object 
is effect. Knowing your experience and success in pleasing the 
eye as well as the ear, I have thought you might give us the 
names of persons to whom the Committee could apply. Pardon 

the liberty I take and believe me 

Yours very truly 

W. Butler Duncan." 

A supper to Booth at Delmonico's on March 30, 
1889, was tendered by Daly and Palmer in recognition of 
his generous gift of No. 16 Gramercy Park to The Players. 
The orchestra of Daly's Theatre supplied the music. 
The guests, eighty in number, were representative of the 
stage, literature, journalism, art, the bench, the bar, and 


the army. George H. Boker, the playwright of a former 
generation, was there with Boucicault, whose activities 
were spread over two generations at least. John Gilbert 
represented the English school of acting, and Coquelin 
the French. Charles P. Daly represented the bar and the 
judiciary, and historical, geographical, and even theatrical 
traditions ; he was a constant patron of the theatre. 
Speeches were made by Stephen Olin, Mark Twain, 
Depew, Barrett, Coquelin, Winter, Boucicault, and Gil- 
bert. Booth responded to the toast in very few words, 
for it was extremely irksome for him to make a speech. 
He had written from Philadelphia : 

"If the feast which you generously intend to give in my honor 
must eventuate cannot speeches be dispensed with ? . . . If 
it be absolutely necessary for me to donkeyize myself pray let 
me know what you will orate on the occasion, that I may have 
a cue to guide me in my response. But if possible don't let's 
do it. . . ." 

The opening of The Players on New Year's Eve, 1889, 
was auspicious. Booth, the president, read an address 
presenting the deed of the club-house to Mr. Daly, the 
vice-president, who responded for the corporation. The 
loving-cup was then passed around the assembly. This 
ceremony is repeated at The Players annually. New 
Year's Eve is called "Founders' Night"; Booth's 
address is read, and a talk reminiscent of Booth is 
given by a member selected for the honor by the Board 
of Directors. 

The Players' opening did not interfere with the custom- 
ary New Year's supper at Daly's in the Wofhngton 
room. Winter was there and W. J. Florence, who at 
an early hour on New Year's Day managed to indite the 
following : 


"7 Fifth Avenue, Tuesday, 1st January, 3 a.m. 

This I fear will be a very shaky note, for with my heart full 

of great good thoughts for you and my head full of champagne 

I don't believe you'll make it out; but, dear good 'Governor,' 

I could not have had the New Year ushered in under happier 

auspices. Judge Daly and Mr. Winter were delightful and 

you looked so distinguished. I was so proud of you. I am 

going to bed completely happy and I thank you ever and ever 

so much. . , . , 

Always smcereiy 


In the course of this year he and Daly talked over a 
possible arrangement by which Florence should be stage 
director of Daly's, occasionally playing eccentric parts of 
suitable importance. Florence could in fact play any- 

Daly's correspondence at this time shows that JeflFerson 
sent him his portrait in bronze, with a remark that it 
was "an appropriate metal for the display of my features, 
I fancy"; that Mrs. Bertha LaflFan of Stratford acknowl- 
edged the receipt of a contribution to the foundation of a 
scholarship in Shakespeare's ancient school, of which her 
husband was head-master ; that the subject of a "World's 
Fair" to be held in New York, the site to be north of 
Central Park and requiring hundreds of acres, awakened 
considerable discussion and, among real estate dealers, 
much excitement, but that Augustin, when consulted, was 
very unenthusiastic; that he was elected to membership 
in the Grolier Club and to the Board of Managers of the 
Catholic Protectory ; that one of the oldest stars in the 
theatrical profession, James E. Murdoch, was tendered a 
benefit in Philadelphia and appeared in one of his fa- 
vorite parts, The Stranger^ giving the present generation 
the opportunity of judging the methods of a forgotten 


period ; that the admirers of Coquelin, headed by Brander 
Matthews, presented him with a souvenir of his American 
visit; and that Mr, Appleton Morgan issued the fourth 
volume of his Bankside Shakespeare with a dedication 
to Augustin Daly. 

Many will recall an absurd bill introduced in Congress 
to extend the contract labor act so as to exclude from the 
United States foreign actors below the grade of stars, 
arriving under engagement. Some actors went to Wash- 
ington to advocate its passage, and even engaged Robert 
G. Ingersoll to present their case. The managers of the 
great theatres ridiculed the fear of competition which 
inspired the measure. Congressman S. S. Cox ("Sunset" 
Cox) fought it strenuously, and commenting upon its 
provisions, wrote to Mr. Daly : 

"Stars differ in glory, and who is to judge of the stellar 
qualities which would allow the 'stars' to come in and the 
satellitic and meteoric folk to be kept out?" 

The benefit tendered at the Metropolitan Opera House 
on February 12, 1889, to Max Maretzek in celebration 
of the fiftieth anniversary of his operatic management 
was a distinguished affair. It was managed by E. C. 
Stanton, director of the Opera House, and by Mr. Daly. 
A graceful compliment was the appearance successively 
in the orchestra of five well-known conductors — Thomas, 
Seidl, Damrosch, Van der Stucker, and Neuendorff, with 
Max himself. 

Daly's Theatre was now enriched by a curtain embroi- 
dered in silk, representing the "Crowning of Comedy," by 
Gariboldi. The needlework was done in Milan under his 
direction. Gariboldi wrote : "Never a piece of work like 
this has been attempted before," and added, "What an 
undertaking, what a work, what a cost!" 


This season the beautiful Virginia Dreher left the 
stage to be married. Miss Phoebe Russell went to Europe 
to study, and Misses Shannon and Campbell accepted 
other and very good engagements. Mrs. Gilbert had 
a startling experience one night while playing. Her 
memory completely failed, and she had to be prompted 
through the whole performance. It took a long time to 
allay her apprehension that a breakdown of her faculties 
from age was imminent. Her recovery, however, was 
rapid and complete. She remembered her part the next 
night, and played with undiminished spirit for many 
years after. 

The death of Mr. John A. Duff occurred this year, 
and that of John Gilbert in Boston in June, 1889. 

There was alarm felt for Edwin Booth when it was 
reported that on April 3, 1889, he had a stroke of paralysis 
while playing in Rochester. His season was immediately 
closed, and he returned home to The Players, the upper 
floor of the club-house having been originally fitted up 
for his residence. He recovered from this attack suffi- 
ciently to preside at the directors' meeting of April 6, 
1889, and in the autumn to fill an engagement jointly 
with Madame Modjeska in "Richelieu" at the Broadway 

Daly as dramatic author experienced some difficulties 
at this time. We recall that in 1868 he successfully 
invoked the aid of the U. S. Circuit Court in New York 
to restrain the piracy of his railroad scene in "Under the 
Gaslight," by Boucicault. After twenty-one years of 
security an ingenious lawyer discovered a variance be- 
tween the title of the play as originally deposited for copy- 
right and that of the published book. The original title- 
page reads "Under the Gaslight, a drama of life 
and love in these times," and the published book was 


called "Under the Gaslight, a romantic panorama of 
the streets and homes of New York." The client of the 
ingenious lawyer immediately began to play the piece 
and refused to recognize the author's rights. Suit by Mr. 
Daly followed, and the judge now presiding thought it 
his duty to declare, though reluctantly, that the copy- 
right was rendered invalid by the change of title. Pirates 
of plays were thereby much encouraged, but only during 
the few months required for Mr. Daly to take an appeal 
to the Circuit Court of Appeals and obtain a reversal of 
the decision. An appeal from the reversal was taken 
by the defendant to the Supreme Court, but was dis- 
missed by that tribunal. The holding of the Court was 
that the title of the play was "Under the Gaslight," and 
that what followed was descriptive merely, and a change 
in it was not a change of title. 

Miss Minnie Maddern, then beginning her career, 
acquired Mr. Daly's "Alixe" for the exercise of her 

Among applicants for engagement was a youthful son 
of Mrs. Rose Eytinge Butler, James H. Hollingshead, a 
grandson of James E. Murdock. The irrepressible and 
adventurous youngest of the Worrell Sisters, writing in 
her dreadful scrawl and signing herself "Jennie Hatfield," 
and "one of the old-timers," announced that she was at 
the Murray Hill Hotel on a brief visit to America "to 
see her daughters and family after a most enjoyable 
eighteen months' shooting trip in Africa," wanted to see 
the play at Daly's, and was shortly to return "to England, 
the land of the free (morals)." 

I find also an amusing account of some theatrical 
impostors ; Thomas Bruton wrote this year from San 
Francisco of his encounter with "Wallack's Theatre 
Company" in a little town of western Arkansas: 


"I found them strapped and held for their board. The 
dirtiest man in the crowd looked at the register and imme- 
diately button-holed me. 'Say, young feller', he said, 'Did you 
ever heerd tell of Lester Wallack.^' 'Oh yes,' I replied, 'I heard 
of him, but I never saw him.' 'Well den — you see him afore 
you. I'm Lester Wallack.' As I wished to be introduced to 
the other members of the company, I invited him up to the bar. 
He gathered all the talent to participate — Dion Boucicault, 
John Gilbert and, — you might not believe it — George Hol- 
land, whom I thought dead ten years. They told me their 
trouble, and as I was a pretty good advertiser, I told them to 
give a good variety performance that night. I wrote up the bill 
with a bottle of wash-blueing and, with the assistance of Lester 
Wallack and Boucicault, posted the town. We had a good 
house, they paid their bill and got off." 

Daly's search for new plays was kept up. M. A. 
Chizzola of Paris was active in securing "La Marchande 
de Sourires" (The Woman Who Sells her Smiles). We 
shall hear of it later. George Parsons Lathrop wrote 
that Abbey had ordered a Greek drama, "Hero and 
Leander," for Mrs. Potter, and Mr. Henry Ames Blood 
of Washington offered Daly "The Return of Ulysses." 
Mrs. Craigie completed "A Bundle of Life"; Alexander 
Salvini with Horace Townsend composed a play which 
Salvini thought it "worth the manager's while to hear"; 
Mrs. Kate Douglas Wiggin sent, not a play, but a song in 
the old English manner, to lines beginning, 

"My time, O ye Muses, was happily spent 
When Chloe went with me wherever I went," 

and Mr. Daly accepted it for possible future use. Miss 
Wormsley inquired about the availability of the plays 
of the elder Dumas for the American stage. "The 
Wild Idea," by Miss Elizabeth Marbury, was found to 
have merit, but was not adapted to the Daly company. 


Mark Twain's well-known intimacy with Daly naturally 
interested his young literary friends. Concerning one of 
them he wrote : 

"She wants to know whether she has written a play or not 
and Mrs. Clemens and I volunteered to go down to New York 
with her & try to get you to tell her. Will you f " 

Upon the occasion of a notable revival on one of the 
subscription nights, Mr. Daly got a short note from 
Twain: "I have always avoided the Moody & Sankey 
revivals, but this kind is just in my line;" and after a 
pleasant meeting with the favorites of the stage and their 
manager came a characteristic letter : 

"A fine and beautiful thing is a child's worship. ... I have 
written wonderful books which have revolutionized politics & 
religion in the world ; & you might think that that is why my 
children hold my person to be sacred; but it isn't so; it is 
because I know Miss Rehan and Mr. Drew personally. 

Sincerely yours 

S. L. Clemens." 


Remarkable contemporary review of Daly's career. The season of 
1888-1889 opens with "The Lottery of Love," which becomes one 
of the greatest successes of the house. The French original, "Les 
Surprises du Divorce," played at the same time by Coquelin's 
company. Daly's supper to Coquelin. Their plan for Coquelin 
to play with Daly's company in the future. Brander Matthews' 
idea of "one-act pieces" is carried out. Revival of "The Incon- 
stant" after fifteen years. Comedy from the German, "An Inter- 
national Match," and another from the French, "Samson and 
Delilah." Furness and Davis come on to see it. Subscription 
nights, an innovation, received with favor. Spring and summer 
tour. Fifty-first birthday. Vacation spent in England and 
France. A breakfast by Buffalo Bill. 

"To Augustin Daly. 

When we consider your history it is impossible to refrain from 
astonishment at the variety of your experiences and the versa- 
tility of your mind. We have neither known nor heard tradi- 
tions of a manager whose career has been so checkered as your 
own. Triumph and disaster have attended your ventures so 
often and in so remarkable a degree that we have knowledge of 
no other man who could have attained similar successes and 
preserved his equanimity, or suffered kindred reverses while 
maintaining your composure. Since your early boyhood you 
have been the pet of fortune or her scorn. On many occasions 
and in many ways you achieved prosperity which, after a little 
holding, was plucked from your grasp. Other men are con- 
tent to build their reputation upon a single performance. But 
you have bent a strong will and a fine intellect to the ac- 
complishment of many tasks and succeeded in all. Yet the 



fame that has come to you through these achievements has 
been shadowed by so many disappointments that there are few 
men who could have maintained their courage even with a surety 
of the ultimate reward which has crowned your perseverance. If 
you have scaled the heights of fortune, you have also sounded 
the depths of misfortune. You have suffered detraction, you 
have had your successes ascribed to one who had no merit in 
them, you have been overwhelmed by undertakings too great 
for your resources, you have been devastated by fire, you have 
been deserted by those whose talent was entirely of your own 
creation, you have devoted years of unwearying thought and 
energy to the development of genius that was no sooner grown 
to maturity than it became ungrateful to its parent. The in- 
domitable ambition of your mind and the power of your will 
have at length placed you in a position which is without a 
rival. We have reason to believe that your future shall be free 
from the hindrance of the past and that now, having eclipsed 
all other managers, you will proceed to surpass yourself." ^ 

The above extract from an open letter published in a 
leading dramatic journal is contemporary testimony to 
the public estimation of Augustin Daly at this stage of 
his career. 

The new season opened at Daly's with "The Lottery of 
Love," a play from the French of Messieurs Bisson and 
Mons (" Les Surprises du Divorce ") . Mrs. Gilbert as Mrs. 
Sherramy, the mother-in-law ; Mr. Lewis as the father-in- 
law, Buttercorn ; Mr. Drew as the harassed husband, Double- 
dot, had the whole work of the performance. The women's 
parts were the weakest in the play, but Miss Rehan ac- 
cepted that of Josephine, the second wife, and Diana, 
the doubly wed, was given to a newcomer. Miss Sara 
Chalmers, while the role of the soubrette Eliza served to 
introduce to Daly's audiences the vivacious Miss Kitty 

^ Dramatic News, New York, August, 1888. 


The new play caught the favor of the town immediately. 
Boucicault was at the premiere^ and wrote next day : 

"My dear Daly 

Good for six months. The dialogue is the best I have listened 
to for many years. Will look you up for a chat next Sunday. 

Yours sincerely 

Dion Boucicault. 
Never saw Drew and Mrs. G. so much to advantage. My 
compliments to Bond — And to yourself looo what d'ye call 

Brander Matthews also wrote : 

"The man with two mother-in-laws was able last night to 
make a man with a double toothache forget the pain from which 
he had been suffering for ten days. It was a delight to hear the 
heartiness of the welcome given to all the old favorites. 

I was very glad to see by the programme that you intend to 
do one-act comedies. I have always thought that the writing of 
one-act plays was the best possible practical training-school 
for the coming American dramatist — just as the writing of 
short stories gives the novelist a chance to learn his trade." 

An unusual opportunity for comparing French and 
American acting in the same play, and also of estimating 
the value of a Daly adaptation of foreign work, was 
afforded by the performance of M. Coquelin and his 
company in "Les Surprises du Divorce" at Palmer's 
(late Wallack's) Theatre across the street, while "The 
Lottery of Love" was playing at Daly's. This was the 
first visit of Coquelin and Mdlle. Jane Hading to America. 
As Mdlle. Hading was not in the cast, the critical journals 
found no one to compare with Miss Rehan ; but Coquelin 
and Drew, Duquesne and Lewis, Mme. Patry and Mrs. 
Gilbert were, of course, contrasted. Coquelin was assumed 
to be necessarily superior to his younger rival, but the 


palm was awarded immediately to Lewis and Mrs. Gilbert 
over the foreign artists. As to the general level of each 
performance, one journal remarked that "the Daly com- 
pany played in a farcical style and the French with the 
true comedy spirit"; this was perhaps illustrated by the 
fact that while Drew, at the apparition of his detested 
mother-in-law, "made a face," Coquelin not only gri- 
maced, but bounded in the air! 

Mr. Daly gave a supper to Coquelin at Delmonico's. 
The menu bore the line from "The Merchant of Venice," 
"I feast tonight my best esteemed." Coquelin returned 
the compliment with a breakfast before leaving America, 
and wrote to Daly (April 12, 1888) : 

"I shall be so sorry to be back in Paris, I felt so happy over 
here. I had such good friends. I'll have to begin the struggle 
anew. Well, it's no use moping. Recall me to the kind 
memory of charming Miss Rehan. She played to perfection 
her 3d act at the Madison Square.^ I'd like to play a nice scene 
with her. She Is as talented as she is charming. 

Do not forget, my dear Daly, that you have in Paris, 6 Rue 
de Presbourg, a true and grateful friend. I shall be glad to 
return to you from afar a little of the kindness you showed me 
when I was in New York. You may dispose of me, rely upon 
me, make use of me, and I shall be happy to acquit myself a 
little. Once more I thank you with all my heart and beg you 
to accept the expression of my faithful friendship. 


These two friends conferred often upon no less a proj- 
ect than Coquelin's appearing at Daly's with Miss 
Rehan and the Daly company. One piece talked of was 
"Le Jeu de I'Amour," and when Coquelin sent over some 
additions to the Ms., he wrote : 

' A charity performance. 


"You can imagine what a pleasure, a fete it will be for me to 
play it with your artists and with the most perfect of them all." 

During the long run of "The Lottery of Love," the 
one-act plays of which Brander Matthews wrote were 
given as "curtain-raisers." "The Wife of Socrates" was 
an adaptation by Justin Huntly McCarthy from the 
French of Theodore de Banville ; "Popping the Question" 
was an old farce done over ; and "A Tragedy Rehearsed" 
was a version in one act of Sheridan's "Critic." In the 
first-named comedietta Miss Rehan played Xantippe and 
Charles Wheatleigh Socrates. Wheatleigh was an addi- 
tion to the company rendered necessary by the veteran 
Fisher's beginning to fail. In the last season he had 
written to his manager on the occasion of forgetting his 
lines, "I can memorize no more," and wished to retire 
then; but my brother comforted and encouraged him, 
and the old gentleman, much revived, subsequently went 
to England with the company and played all that season. 
His successor Wheatleigh was a thorough artist of the 
old days and had been a favorite at Laura Keene's Theatre 
In 1857, but of late had been seldom seen. Augustin 
drew him from his retirement, and he fitted in admirably 
with the new generation on Daly's stage. 

The old comedy production of the season was "The 
Inconstant," brought out with unusual elegance on 
January 15, 1889, and played twenty-nine times. It 
had not been seen since Daly produced it at the first 
Fifth Avenue Theatre in 1872. Miss Clara Morris, 
then in her prime, had given to the part of Oriana her 
supple grace and incisive diction. Miss Rehan now 
brought to it abundant life and magnetism, and con- 
firmed the critical impression that she was always at her 
greatest in classical comedy. The prompt-book of this 


elegant production was privately printed and sent to 
admirers of old comedy. Jefferson received a copy, and 
wrote to Augustin of Farquhar's play : 

"It has humanity without realism, whilst the plays of our 
own time are full of realism without humanity." 

The second new play was "An International Match," 
adapted from the German ("Cornelius Voss") of von 
Schonthan, and produced February 5, 1889, with all the 
company in the cast. A revival of "The Taming of the 
Shrew" followed the "International Match," and then 
appeared the third and last new piece, "Samson and 
Delilah," from the French of M. Bisson, on March 28, 

Furness came on from Philadelphia with Clarke Davis 
to see the play, and wrote to the manager that going 
home on the train they talked it over and "came to the 
conclusion as we discussed it and reviewed it and re- 
hearsed it, that it was absolutely perfect." 

In this season of 1888-1889 Mr. Daly inaugurated an 
innovation in theatrical practice in America — a series 
of subscription nights, on which revivals of former success- 
ful plays were to be produced. Only a theatre with a 
company that had been accustomed to act together for 
years could have announced such a programme. The 
subscription book was filled six weeks before the first 

The season closed on April 27, 1889, and the theatre 
was given over to Rosina Yokes, The Daly company 
then made its customary round of visits. 

Augustin's fifty-first birthday, July 20, 1889, was 
celebrated by the company in San Francisco at the 
Palace Hotel with a little family demonstration in his 


Early In August the travellers separated for a two 
months' holiday. Mr. and Mrs. Daly sailed for Europe 
on the loth with Miss Rehan. It was Miss Rehan's 
first visit abroad "with nothing to do." They visited 
every notable performance In London and Paris, and 
Augustin made arrangements for a season at the Ly- 
ceum Theatre in June and July, 1890. The visit to 
Paris was made at the height of the "Exposition." 
Augustin wrote : 

"The French have done wonders with the Champs de Mars, 
transforming that sandy spot into a paradise . . . wonderful 
lakelets . . . the trees they have planted seem to have been 
growing there for centuries. The American part of the exhibi- 
tion was no credit to us. Mr. Depew said we went there flaunt- 
ing the largest kind of American flag and at the end could have 
put it In our vest pocket. The theatres have not done the 
business they expected. Buff'alo Bill's show was the most 
successful American exhibit. He Is doing an enormous busi- 
ness. Edison is made a perfect hero. Everywhere he goes he 
is followed by crowds of people. As for the proposed exhibition 
in America (1892-93), we must take some difi'erent line. It's 
no use trying to surpass the Paris exhibition on its own lines. 
In Its own way it Is almost perfect. I have not thought much of 
a site for ours. As for the damage it might cause to Central 
Park, It is said that the crowds in Paris destroy 10,000 francs' 
worth of foliage every Sunday." 

Colonel Cody (Buifalo Bill) gave a breakfast on August 
27 at his "Wild West Camp," Neullly, "In honor of 
our American friends," including Edison, Chauncey 
Depew, John Hoey, M. O'Brien, Augustin Daly, and 
Miss Rehan. The menu was strictly trans-Atlantic : 
"Clam Chowder, Soles, Quail on Toast, Sweetbreads, 
Pork and Boston Baked Beans, Grub-steak with Mush- 
rooms, Chicken (Maryland style). Green Corn, Hominy, 


Baked Potatoes, Blanc Mange, Jelly, Pumpkin Pie, Apple 
Pie, Watermelon, Peas, Peaches, Grapes, Nuts, Popcorn, 
Peanuts, Coffee, Corn Bread, and Biscuits." The 
French guests must have thought they were at an Homeric 


Season of 1 889-1 890. "The Golden Widow." "The Great Un- 
known." The fourth Shakespearian production of this theatre, 
"As You Like It." "A Priceless Paragon," from Sardou's "Belle 
Maman," a failure. "The Prayer." "Miss Hoyden." "Haroun 
al Raschid." An arduous season. Subscription nights and 
benefits. James Lewis' sanguinary designs on a plumber. Wil- 
liam Terriss and Miss Jessie Milward in "Roger la Honte." New 
plays — one ordered from Sardou. Fourth visit of the Daly com- 
pany to London. At the Lyceum. Everything they do now praised. 
Self-reproach of critic who once flouted "Seven-Twenty-Eight." 
Press tributes remarkable. The red feather in the cap of Mephis- 
topheles. Criticism upon absence of high-born manners in Amer- 
ican players. Blackwood's views. Supper in the Beefsteak Room. 
Charities. The Christopher Marlowe memorial. Appreciation of 
"The Great Unknown." Return engagement promised. 

The season of 1 889-1 890 opened with "The Golden 
Widow" from Sardou's "La Marquise"; it was ex- 
quisitely acted, but the American public took no delight 
in the story. "The Great Unknown" from the German 
of von Schonthan and Kadelburg ("Die Beriihmte 
Frau"), on October 22, 1889, caught the public fancy 
at once. A newcomer to the company was Miss Adelaide 
Prince, the successor of Miss Virginia Dreher. 

"As You Like It" was the fourth Shakespearian pro- 
duction of Daly's Theatre, and had been in preparation 
for many months. Miss Rehan's Rosalind was a present- 
ment of boundless, resistless, exuberant youth, and there 
was Immediate recognition of the charm which Mr. Daly's 
stage direction gave to the pastoral scenes. Lewis was 
the dryest, quaintest, cleanest-cut Touchstone that ever 
wore cap and bells. 



Very greatly appreciated by Mr. Daly was a letter from 
Mr. J. J. Hayes, instructor of elocution at Harvard : 

"Doubtless you are surfeited with praise, but I cannot go 
from the City without saying how thoroughly charmed I was 
last night with your admirable production of 'As You Like It.' 
In the first place I was more glad than I can say at the exquisite 
simplicity and naturalness of the readings. In that respect 
alone your company furnishes a source of education to the 
masses, and it was as rare as it was delightful to hear the lines 
of the play given with the true human touch . . . To my 
mind Miss Rehan has done nothing that can compare with her 
Rosalind. It was a performance to be remembered." 

"As You Like It" had sixty-two representations. A 
privately printed book of the present version was dis- 
tributed among the lovers of Daly's Theatre, and, enlarged 
and embellished with photographs of the players in 
costume, was sent to the Memorial Theatre in Stratford. 
The book contains an admirable historical and critical 
introduction by William Winter. 

"A Priceless Paragon," which came next, was Sardou's 
"Belle Maman," adapted by Harry Paulton, the actor, 
for Mr. Daly. A version for England, where it was to 
be played by Mrs. Bancroft, was prepared from the 
French original by F. C. Burnand. By way of contrast 
there was played each night before the comedy one of the 
most sombre things conceivable — Francois Coppee's 
"Le Pater," a brief dramatic story of the Commune 
translated by Maurice Francis Egan and named "The 
Prayer." At the time of its production at Daly's, 
February 25, 1890, the little play had not been produced 
in Paris, the government censor withholding his license 
for fear of reviving some of the bitter feeling of the past. 
To some observers the serious nature of this play seemed 
unfitted for association with Sardou's comedy, but the 


light and the serious spirit of France were never better 

More novelties succeeded. Sheridan's comedy, "A 
Trip to Scarborough," which was based upon Vanbrugh's 
*' Relapse," now condensed by Mr. Daly into a comedietta 
which he called "Miss Hoyden's Husband," was brought 
out on March 26, 1890, in conjunction with Sydney 
Grundy's farce in three acts, "Haroun al Raschid and 
his Mother-in-law," a version of "An Arabian Night." 

The subscription nights were continued this season, 
and Miss Edith Crane made her debut in a revival of 
"Seven-Twenty-Eight." It was an arduous season, the 
company not only appearing in six new productions, but 
in the eight subscription revivals and in complimentary 
benefits for the Post-Graduate Medical Hospital, The 
Actors' Fund, the Orphan Asylum, the Bethlehem Day 
Nursery, and the Association for Befriending Children 
and Young Girls. Notwithstanding the incessant work, 
the company was in high spirits. There is a sanguinary 
epistle from James Lewis requesting a day off to go to his 
country place at Larchmont "to kill a plumber. I should 
have gone yesterday, but the storm saved his life for 
another day." 

The season closed after two hundred and twenty per- 
formances, of which eighty-five were Shakespearian. The 
company went immediately to Washington — the first 
visit in years — and thence upon a tour which embraced 
Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago, They sailed with Mr. 
and Mrs. Daly for England on the Aurania on May 31, 
where they were booked to open at the Lyceum Theatre, 
and destined to achieve their greatest success up to that 
time. In their absence Daly's Theatre was occupied by 
Miss Yokes and her company and afterwards by Sol Smith 


During the season just ended Mr. Daly brought 
Wilham Terriss and Miss Jessie Milward from England 
to open at Niblo's Garden in a French melodrama, 
"Roger la Honte," in which Terriss doubled the parts of 
the hero and the villain. The venture promised such 
profit that an experienced New York manager, Mr. Miner, 
took over the contract. A version of "Roger la Honte" 
for England had been made by Robert Buchanan. 

Among the new plays read by Mr. Daly this year were 
a drama by Milton Royle, another by Harold Frederic 
and Brandon Thomas, comedies by Paul Blouet, Bronson 
Howard, Joseph Hutton, Mrs. Gertrude Atherton, Mrs. 
Annie Nathan Meyer, George Hibbard, and H. Wayne 
Ellis, and a version of Shakespeare's "Pericles" by Pos- 
sart. Sardou received a payment of 20,000 francs in 
advance for a new play, not yet composed. This master- 
workman was to have for the American rights only, in 
addition to the prepayment, 20,000 francs more when the 
scenario was submitted, 50,000 on delivery of the complete 
manuscript, 50,000 on the first performance, 25,000 on 
the fiftieth, and 25,000 on the hundredth. It seems also 
that Sardou was at this time arranging the work of a 
contemporary dramatist, Emile Moreau, for Madame 
Bernhardt, on the understanding that his name was not 
to appear. 

Among the manager's correspondence we find a letter 
from an almost forgotten star (she had been a juvenile 
prodigy), Mrs. Clara Fisher Maeder, not too old to think 
of returning to the stage ; and one, which recalled the old 
journalistic days, from Edward H. House, dramatist and 
critic in the sixties, now returned from Japan a cripple, 
constantly attended by his adopted Japanese daughter. 
We find Laurence Hutton at work on the "Curiosities 
of the American Stage," for the benefit, he wrote Mr. Daly, 


"of you extra-illustrators"; Boucicault was forming a 
school in dramatic instruction in the Madison Square 
Theatre; General Sherman on his seventieth birthday, 
January 15, 1890, invited Mr. Daly and a few intimates 
to a dinner in honor of his brother, Senator John Sherman, 
at 75 West Seventy-first Street ; Mrs. Kendal acknowl- 
edged Mr. Daly's permission for her to play Kate Verity 
in "The Squire"; Miss Ellen Terry, writing from Paris, 
introduced the son of the celebrated Tyrone Power ; and 
an old friend, Judge Richard O'Gorman, upon receiving 
from Augustin a copy of the handsome book "As You 
Like It," wrote : 

"Happy is the man who has so many opportunities of making 
people happy and who uses his opportunities to such advan- 

On June 10, 1890, the Daly company faced a Lyceum 
audience. There was design in opening with "Seven- 
Twenty-Eight," which had first introduced the Americans 
to an English public ; the versatility of the performers was 
to be exhibited. Recalling what the Times had said of 
them six years before, it is instructive to turn to its columns 
now and read : 

"No comedy quite so delicate as that of Miss Rehan and Mr. 
Drew in this piece has been seen since the Robertsonian plays 
were performed under the management of Mr. and Mrs. Ban- 
croft. Some of the subordinate members of the Company are 
newcomers, but the principals have been acting for many 
years together, and this circumstance insures a degree of smooth- 
ness and a perfection of ensemble in the performances which is 
unsurpassed and perhaps hardly equalled even in the Paris 

Of "Nancy & Co.," played on June 24, the same 
critic wrote : 


"The plot seems to become as delicate as gossamer which a 
jarring word or gesture would mutilate. Neither word nor 
gesture, however, is ever out of place." 

The Times voiced the general impression : 

"The acting was absolutely faultless; indeed it was better 
than faultless : It was animated throughout by that vivacity 
of genius which we believe to be essentially French." ^ 

Mr. Labouchere noticed the change of tone : 

"When he first came to England the Company was pro- 
nounced by our theatrical guides, philosophers and friends a 
complete failure. At present, although the Company is the 
same and the plays are the same, everything is declared to be 
perfection ; indeed the success is greater every successive season 
that the Company comes over here." ^ 

And the feeling throughout the critical fraternity was 
quite frankly expressed by the writer in the London 
World, who said that he had turned back to his article 
published on July 23, 1884, on the night of the first ap- 
pearance of the Daly company in England, and that 
when he reached the lines dealing with Miss Rehan in 
this part {Nisbe), he could have rent his garments and 
strewn ashes on his head for having been blind to its 
beauties, which it was a sin not to see and appreciate. 

Not less enthusiastic were the notices of "The Taming 
of the Shrew" (produced on July 8) : 

"A veritable edition de luxe of a five-act comedy which, for 
over a hundred years, has been known to the stage only in the 
truncated form adopted by Garrick." ^ 

But the greatest success of the Daly company was at 
hand. On July 16 the production of "As You Like It" 

^ St. James Gazette. ^ Truth. ' The Times. 


took place and was witnessed by a splendid audience. 
Henry Irving in his box was conspicuous. There was 
good reason to believe that he had had in contemplation 
a presentation of this play, and as it was certain that the 
Rosalind of such a production would be Miss Ellen Terry, 
he was naturally a close observer of Miss Rehan's per- 
formance, the reputation of which had already crossed the 
Atlantic. His congratulations to Mr. Daly were conveyed 
in a letter. "As You Like It" and Miss Rehan's acting 
elicited greater praise than they had evoked even in 
America. Compliments privately bestowed were many. 
Mrs. Marie Bancroft wrote to Miss Rehan : "Your Rosa- 
lind is one of the most perfect representations I ever 
witnessed — full of thought and genius — a truly beautiful 
performance"; Joseph Knight addressed her as "divine 
artist," and Mrs. Mary Ann Keeley as "bewitching 
Rosalind." Madame Felicia Mallet, the accomplished 
French comedienne, wrote to Mr. Daly: "Thanks to 
your amiability, I passed, yesterday, an exquisite evening. 
I beg you to make my perfect admiration known to Miss 
Ada Rehan." Sir Squire Bancroft wrote: 

"Very cordially I offer a few words of sincere admiration to 
the governing mind and hand so constantly obvious to the 
expert in last night's performance. If you knew how weary I 
had grown of the old play and how all my love for it was revived 
and strengthened, you would better understand my appreciation 
of your work." 

Sir Theodore Martin (author of the "Life of the Prince 
Consort" and husband of Helen Faucit, one of the admired 
Rosalinds of the English theatre), wrote an appreciation 
of the play as a whole : 

"Never have I seen it presented with more skill in the details 
of the scene or carried out with a greater spirit of life by the 



various characters. The way the very charming music was 
presented helped very greatly to augment the illusion of the 
scene and to infuse into it the true spirit of this lovely Forest 

The letter of Henry Irving, referred to above, termed 
"As You Like It" 

"A delightful performance, and Miss Rehan beyond praise. 
She kept the entire play together in a splendid way. I was sorry 
that Ellen Terry could not come — she was ill in bed. Drew's 
difficult part he gets through admirably, and Lewis & Wheat- 
leigh & Clarke are good — Wheatleigh's a thorough old stager ;" 

and Coquelin wrote : " I am ravished with your success 
and that of Miss Rehan." 

A charming and characteristic letter was written later 
to Miss Rehan by Miss Terry : 

_. - Aj r. u "Winchelsea, Friday, 15 Aug. 

My dear Ada Rehan, 

I suppose you'll be flying off directly you have finished at the 

Lyceum, & if so I shan't see you and I haven't seen yr Rosalind ! 

— only one act of it at least, which was lovely enough, all except 

a 'red feather' which I want you to wear as the only possible 


improvement which I might suggest! ! 'Nobody ax'd you sir, 
she said' you may say but you won't & will wear the feather 
for my sake. 

It's one of the straight long bright scarlet feathers that H. I. 
wore in 'Mephistopheles' & it wd, I think, give vim to yr. cap. 
I had not forgotten, only the thing was locked up. 

Goodbye, my dear — you should be delighted with your 
great success — our B. P. (British Public, please) — just love 
you — & so they did ought to, as they say in the Dials. 

I'm having a perfect rest in our nth century city by the sea 
& I do nothing but nothing all day long & am not quite sure 
whether this is a Thursday or a Friday. Keep very well & 
get some rest now. Yrs affect'ly 

Ellen Terry." 

The letter of Sir Theodore Martin, from which an ex- 
tract has been given, contained, in its long and studied 
appreciation of Miss Rehan's performance, some reflections 
upon the unrestrained gayety of her acting in the forest 
scenes which he thought denoted forgetfulness of her 
princely rank: "She would I think modify many of the 
details of her performance in the forest scenes if she 
kept steadily in mind that it is Rosalind the Princess as 
well as Rosalind the loving woman who, under the Page's 
disguise, is doing her best to rivet the affections of 
Orlando." The idea was subsequently enlarged upon 
in an article in Blackwood's (September, 1890). The 
topic of a Shakespearian performance by an American 
company is incidentally referred to in a notice of the 
recent publication of the eighth volume of Horace Howard 
Furness' variorum Shakespeare. It is announced that 
this eighth volume of Mr. Furness' work is devoted to 
"As You Like It," and that Mr. Daly had applied great 
skill and pains to the production of that play, and had 
submitted his labors to an English audience which had 


been predisposed in his favor by his version of "The 
Taming of the Shrew." After praising costumes and 
scenic arrangement, skilful stage management, and the 
admirable way the songs were presented, it finds that 
the characters were taken in too low a key ; that the 
speeches of the banished Duke and Jaques, for example, 
were spoken with excellent emphasis and discretion, but 
the tone of the high-bred nobleman was not struck ; 
that one missed the indefinable something which dis- 
tinguishes men accustomed to a higher than ordinary 
level of thinking, as well as that courtesy in manner which 
is requisite to give to the poet's language its full effect ; 
but that much praise was due to the Jaques for his treat- 
ment of "All the World's a Stage." 

The writer goes on to say that the Touchstone of Mr. 
Daly's company did not answer to the poet's conception, 
and that Adam was worse ; that to Orlando an air of 
youthful romance is absolutely essential, and that Mr. 
Drew was not conspicuous for it ; yet that "with scarcely an 
exception, the critics pronounce the production to be 
'indeed perfection,' and one luminous authority tells 
us that nothing so truly Shakespearian had been seen 
on the stage for a hundred years." It is Blackwood'' s 
misfortune (it declares) not to be able to agree with these 
opinions ; Miss Rehan seemed not to have adapted her- 
self to Rosalind, but to have sought to adapt that part to 
herself and to her own peculiar methods of winning an 
audience ; that surely, if Rosalind is anything, she is an 
ideal princess in whom the charm of person is heightened 
by refinement, grace, tenderness, and an undercurrent of 
intellectual strength, and who never in the wildest play 
of her sportive moods is other than the high-bred self- 
respecting lady; that "the saucy kittenish ways of Miss 
Rehan may be very amusing to those who either do not 


know their Shakespeare or are indifferent as to what he 
intended ; but they are out of place in any poetical drama, 
and they are especially so in Rosalind.^' 

The writer in Blackivood* s had not perhaps sufficiently 
pondered the role of that high-born lady who wanders 
in the woods in boy's dress, greets her lover "like a saucy 
lackey," "plays the knave with him," pretending to be 
"apish and fantastical"; prepares "now to weep for him, 
then spit at him," offers to "wash his liver as clean as 
a sound sheep's heart," and finally, to his "And wilt 
thou have me?" replies "Ay, and twenty such!" 

The fact is that the writer was simply recalling the 
conventional Rosalinds of the early Victorian era, and 
could not accept a different interpretation of the part. 
From this mental condition the other critics had emerged. 
The Daily Chronicle, for instance, said : "Miss Rehan's 
Rosalind has an ease and spontaneity so engaging in its 
influence as for the moment to create some doubts as to 
whether Miss Rehan is not right, and theatrical precedent, 
together with ideas matured in the study, altogether 

On July i6 my brother wrote me : " As You Like It 
is the most enormous success I've yet had in London." 
While the popularity of the play was at its height, he 
gave a supper in Irving's famous "Beefsteak Room" to 
a number of friends, including Irving, Miss Rehan, the 
Laboucheres, Mr. (afterwards Sir Francis) Jeune (later 
Lord St. Helier), Mrs. Jeune, Mr. and Mrs. Beerbohm 
Tree, Sir Henry Thompson, Mr. Depew, Mr. Winter, 
Mr. Brayton Ives, Mr. Stewart Scott, Mr. Edgar Fawcett, 
Mrs. Louise Chandler Moulton, Mr. and Mrs. Ledger, Mr. 
and Mrs. Hatton, Gustave Kadelburg, Mr. and Mrs. 
Watson, Mrs. Gilbert and Mr. Lewis, Mrs. Augustin Daly, 
Mrs. Joseph F. Daly, and myself. The birthday of the 


manager (July 20) was celebrated with a luncheon at 
which the Kendals, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lockwood, Mr. 
and Mrs. Routledge, Mr. Smalley, Miss Rehan, and Mrs. 
Gilbert were guests. A birthday letter from Miss 
Rehan offered my brother warm congratulations, and 
added : 

"I also wish to acknowledge your generous assistance for 
the high position I hold today in my profession. May God 
bless you." 

The Daly company gave an entertainment for the 
benefit of Mrs. Jeune's "holiday fund for poor children" 
at the Lyceum on July 23 ; and the theatre was lent 
for the Actors' Benevolent Fund benefit on the 17th, in 
which the company took part, as they did in a perform- 
ance at the Shaftesbury Theatre for the "Christopher 
Marlowe Memorial Fund." The treasurer of the fund, 
Mr. Sidney Lee, acknowledged the courtesy in the follow- 
ing letter : 

"18 K-Edward's Square, Kensington 6/7/90. 
Dear Sir 

I am directed by the Committee of the Marlowe Memorial 
of which Lord Coleridge is Chairman to express to you their 
deep sense of gratitude for the generous service which your 
Company rendered to the benefit performance given in aid of 
the Memorial Fund last Friday afternoon. That you should 
have so readily joined in our endeavor to do honor to the founder 
of the English drama seems to the Committee a very graceful 
act of fraternity." 

The American company also participated in the benefit 
for the English Theatrical Fund (June 12). 

The interesting season at the Lyceum was brought to 
a close with "The Great Unknown," which was brought 


out on August 6. The other modern comedy given beside 
"Seven-Twenty-Eight" was "Nancy & Co," Strangely 
enough the romping audacity of Edna, the fearless heroine 
of "The Great Unknown," was preferred to the demure- 
ness of Nisbe and the vivacity of Nancy Brasher. The 
Morning Post said it was "an extraordinary change from 
Rosalind, but the versatility of Miss Rehan is so remark- 
able that she appears equally at home in classic comedy 
or the wildest eccentricity," 

The season terminated on August i6 with "Seven- 
Twenty-Eight," and a great demonstration of friendship, 
an extraordinary manifestation of sympathy between 
the artists and the auditors. Everybody was called out 
repeatedly. Mr, Daly had to come forward and thank 
the public on behalf of his company. The announce- 
ment that he had secured the Lyceum for another visit 
was greatly applauded. On August 19 Mr, and Mrs. 
Daly, with Miss Rehan, went to Paris for a short visit 
and three weeks afterwards sailed for home. 


Opening of the season of 1890-1891. Booth, Jefferson, and Florence 
in a box. " New Lamps for Old" by Jerome. A great hit — "The 
Last Word." "The School for Scandal" and "L'Enfant Prodigue" 
— a long run and a very brief one. Superb revival of Shakespeare's 
"Love's Labour's Lost." The Players. Booth persuades Daly 
to withdraw his resignation. The Fifth Avenue Theatre de- 
stroyed. Hard times in the theatrical world after the Barings' 
failure. Daniel Frohman tries old comedy. Debut of Mrs. 
James Brown Potter. 

It was a great opening night at Daly's on October 
7, 1890. There was promise of a vast crowd, and 
Booth wrote in acknowledgment of the box kept for 
him: "Joe and I will attend to-morrow night & I hope 
Florence & Bispham can do so. Barrett is in Chicago. 
Hope you will be here next Monday." "Joe" was Jef- 
ferson. He and Florence were soon to open in "The 
Rivals" at Palmer's, late Wallack's. William Bispham 
was Booth's intimate friend and business adviser, an 
amateur of the arts and one of the founders of The Players. 
Jefferson wrote to say that he was going to "try and get 
off for the occasion," — " Should like to see your opening, 
as I know it will be an event." 

The play was Jerome K. Jerome's "New Lamps for 
Old," — full of fun and satire. It was a slender piece, 
not quite up to the powers of the company, but here 
and there beyond the ordinary level of farce. In the first 
week Augustin wrote me: "Old Lamps will soon burn 
out," and said that he must prepare its successor. Three 
weeks after the opening, a new adaptation from the Ger- 



man of Franz von Schonthan, called "The Last Word," 
was put on. When it was first read to the company in 
the Green Room, my brother wrote in his oiBce-book, 
"Received in silence." The play ran for a hundred 
nights. The press gave the performance the tribute it 
deserved, and we shall see later on how it was appreciated 

A fitting successor to this superb example of modern 
comedy was "The School for Scandal," now presented 
in the form adopted by Mr. Daly some fifteen years 
before and further reconstructed so as to present each 
act in a single scene, a work requiring much time and 
ingenuity. On January 20, 1891, the curtain rose upon 
what was destined to be a companion piece to Daly's 
brilliant Shakespearian revivals. Lady Teazle — the fe- 
male role which stands out most prominently in English 
comedy — is a superstructure of light follies built upon 
solid ground. Daring to the very brink of danger, but 
absolutely confident in herself, she could play with the 
schemes of the profligate as airily as she did with the 
fears of her husband, and emerge from every ordeal leaving 
a conviction of her honesty even in the heart of the de- 
praved. A natural, solid virtue showed through the 
glaze of fashion. That was Mrs. Jordan's conception of 
the part, and it was Miss Rehan's. It was said of her in 
the fourth act: "Her acting at the climax, after the fall 
of the screen, had the true dignity of aroused and chas- 
tened moral sentiment subdued by the tenderness of a 
good heart that is suddenly awakened to a knowledge of 
duty." "Roguish merriment was allowed to dominate 
the actress's manner in the quarrel scenes ; under the 
influence of Joseph's specious arguments her face showed 
clearly that she was not likely to be led astray by such a 
shallow rogue, if at all ; and her delivery of the expla- 


nation to Sir Peter and the denunciation of Joseph after 
the fall of the screen was beautifully simple and true 
and splendidly effective." There was a diflference of 
opinion as to whether she was sufficiently the fine lady. 
The part may be played in a mincing fashion, and it may 
be played as a finished coquette; but it is certain that 
if it does not disclose the heartiness and robustness of 
"a young girl bred wholly in the country," it is not in the 
spirit of Sheridan. 

John Drew's Charles Surface was deservedly praised. 
It was judiciously observed that, if he appeared a trifle 
too cool in the company of hotheaded drinkers, he made it 
appear from the first that he was a very decent fellow in 
spite of his companions and his follies, and merited the 
encomiums of Old Rowley ; that his manner was elegant, 
and that in the screen scene he displayed a tact of which 
most modern Charles Surfaces have been entirely incapable. 

A new recruit, Harry Edwards, an actor of great ex- 
perience and a favorite of the old Wallack company, 
made his first appearance on Daly's stage as Sir Oliver 
Surface, and added to the interest of the first night. 
Lewis consented again to assume the part of Moses, and 
Sidney Herbert as Sir Benjamin Backbite made an im- 
pression so distinct as to elevate the part to the level of 
superior comedy, a feat which is not recorded of any 
other actor who ever attempted the role. 

The old comedy caught the town and was played fifty 
times this season. As usual, it brought out old playgoers 
who seldom find amusement in modern pieces, and it 
awakened memories of interest. The veteran actor, 
manager, and teacher of acting, Gabriel Harrison, wrote 
to Mr. Daly that he had seen Fanny Kemble in the old 
Park Theatre as Lady Teazle, Charles Kemble as Charles, 
Henry Placide as Sir Peter, Thomas Barry as Joseph, and 


Mrs. Wheatley as Mrs. Candour ; and that Miss Rehan's 
scene with Joseph in the fourth act, "her quick perception 
of Joseph's object wonderfully expressed in her face, and 
her whole demeanor from that moment to the end of the 
play, I have never seen excelled." 

During the visit to Paris in the preceding summer, 
Mr. Daly had taken Miss Rehan to see the sensation of 
Paris — the acting of Felicia Mallet as Pierrot in a new 
pantomime, "L'Enfant Prodigue," and he was so im- 
pressed with the charm of the performance that he ac- 
quired the American rights in the play, and disclosed 
to Miss Rehan his intention of presenting her in Mme. 
Mallet's role. Pantomime was no novelty to the 
Parisians, but to Americans it was then associated with 
chalk-faced clowns like Fox, and ballerinas like pretty 
Fa*nny Beaver, his Columbine. But this was not a 
comic pantomime ; it was a tragic story. Even to the 
French a female Pierrot was perhaps a novelty, but the 
petite Mme. Mallet carried the town in spite of the 
white face and skull-cap. Success without her would 
have been doubtful, and we are not surprised that the 
published book was gratefully inscribed by Andre Wormser 
and Michel Carre fils to the admirable creator of their 

It is surprising that there should have been material 
in the Daly company for such an unusual entertainment, 
but Leclercq was an old pantomimist, and Mrs. Gilbert 
had only to recall memories of her early days in ballets 
d'action. The manager chose correctly when he cast 
Sidney Herbert and Adelaide Prince for the Baron and 
the coquettish Phrynette ; and they carried off the honors 
of the evening. The audience watched the novelty, 
absorbed; it enjoyed, it applauded prodigiously; but 
there was in the air a feeling that, good as a play with- 


out words might be, a play with words was better. Daly's 
sensitive nerves caught the impression on the first night 
that his public was not with him, or rather, as in former 
experiences, — "Yorick," for instance, — that he was in 
advance of his time; and in less than a week the 
beautiful play, with its exquisite setting, music, and 
acting, became merely a memory of Daly's Theatre. 
But though the artistic value of " L'Enfant Prodigue" 
was comprehended only by an appreciative minority, 
its production was strictly in the line of managerial 
duty. Such work as Miss Rehan's had never been 
done by any other woman on our stage in our time. 
That a certain number of people understood his purpose 
in producing this play was gratification enough for the 

The revival of "Love's Labour's Lost," after seventeen 
years, was given March 28, 1891, with unusual sump- 
tuousness and a notable cast. Miss Rehan was The 
Princess of France, Miss Edith Crane Rosaline, Miss 
Adelaide Prince Maria, Miss Isabel Irving Katherine, 
Miss Kitty Cheatham Jacquenetta, James Lewis Costard, 
Drew The King of Navarre, George Clarke, Bosworth, and 
Bowkett, Biron, Longaville and Dumain. Charles Wheat- 
leigh and Wilfred Buckland were the lords Boyet and 
Mercade, attendant upon The Princess of France. The 
eccentric roles were in competent hands, Sidney Her- 
bert being Don Armado, the "fantastical Spaniard," 
Flossie Ethel Moth, his page, Charles Leclercq Sir Na- 
thaniel, Harry Edwards Holoferness, and William Samp- 
son Dull. What it cost in thought and labor to stage 
"Love's Labour's Lost," rich in poetry and singularly 
barren of action as it is, even Shakespearians hardly 
appreciated. A letter from my brother during the last 
rehearsals (March 26, 1891) is eloquent: 


"Come down here and spend about 7 hours at a rehearsal 
trying to squeeze juice out of a stone (or crystal — i.e., L. L. L.). 
It's a dreadful job — worse than ever — tougher than before." 

The play ran to the end of the season, except that on 
the last night, April 11, "The Railroad of Love" was 
given for a leave-taking. 

The death of a warm friend, General Sherman, oc- 
curred on February 15, 1891, the date on which he had 
intended to dine with my brother. From the ranks of 
his own company he lost the excellent Harry Edwards 
(June 8, 1891) and Charles Fisher (June 11, 1891). 
On March 18, news came of the sudden seizure of Law- 
rence Barrett while on the stage, and two days afterwards 
of his death. On the 31st of March Edwin Booth an- 
nounced his own withdrawal from the stage. He ap- 
peared for the last time on April 4, 1891, as Hamlet at 
the Academy of Music in Brooklyn. From that date he 
lived at The Players in Gramercy Park and devoted his 
evenings to receiving with simple cordiality his fellow 
members — always dining with them in the grill room 
and sitting with them until bedtime. He presided at 
the regular monthly meetings of the Board of Directors, 
and enjoyed having to be constantly prompted in putting 
motions to a vote and announcing the result, a routine 
in which, after innumerable "repetitions," he never be- 
came perfect. In the preceding year he had been greatly 
disturbed by Augustin's wish to resign from the Club, 
owing to some disagreement about the policy of its man- 
agement : 

"Hotel Thorndike, Deer 9 : '90. 
Dear Augustin, 

A note from Hutton yesterday announcing your proposed 
withdrawal from our Club astonished rtie so that I am scarcely 
yet recovered from the embarrassment it caused me. His let- 


ter did not reach me till late yesterday on account of my ab- 
sence from the hotel on a visit to Aldrich, and I could but 
telegraph you hurriedly to wait till we could talk the matter 
over. Whatever is amiss I hope we can rectify, and I earnestly 
hope you have concluded to reconsider your resolve and will 
withdraw not your valuable self but the most unwelcome mes- 
sage the 'Players' could receive. I am much afraid that 
some stupid fault of my own has influenced your feeling in this 
matter — my incapacity for the position I hold in the Club 
makes me fear that many errors result from lack of judgment. 
It is impossible for me to write more, being entirely in the dark, 
and so incessantly interrupted as I am while attempting to dis- 
suade you from what would be deeply regretted by the entire 
Club — by none more sincerely than by yr friend 

Edwin Booth." 

Augustin could not resist this, and the resignation was 
withdrawn. He remained in the Club while Booth lived. 

On January 3, 1891, the Fifth Avenue Theatre on 
Twenty-eighth Street was destroyed by fire. 

The theatrical season just ended was called a bad one 
by the profession. The financial panic that followed the 
failure of the Barings in November, 1898, was a misfor- 
tune to "the poor player," and by December, road 
companies were disbanded in great numbers. Daly's, 
however, hardly felt it, and the manager was encouraged 
to lay out large sums in extending his stage and im- 
proving the front of the house by widening stairways and 
ornamenting the foyer. 

This season an old comedy was revived by Mr, Daniel 
Frohman in his little Lyceum Theatre on Fourth Avenue 
between Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Streets. He 
brought out "Old Heads and Young Hearts" on Aprir6, 
1 891, with Herbert Kelcey as Littleton Coke, W. J. Lemoyne 
as Jesse Rural, Georgia Cayvan as Lady Alice, Effie Shan- 


non as Kate Rocket, and Mrs. Whiffen as Lady Pompion, 
and the venture was highly praised. At another theatre, 
the debut of an ambitious amateur, Mrs. James Brown 
Potter, was the subject of much remark. I find in my 
brother's scrapbooks accounts of four charity benefits 
which he supervised or himself donated during the sea- 
son. He also presented the altar of St. Augustin and 
a bell to St. Patrick's Cathedral, a Baptistry to the 
church of St. Paul the Apostle, and an altar-piece to the 
Cathedral in Denver, Colorado. 


Extracts from a manager's correspondence. The stage-struck. 
Fledglings who fly in couples. Brunettes and blondes flock to- 
gether. Desperate ambitions. Inquiries from the unsophisti- 
cated. Various forms of infatuation. Infant prodigy. Soulful 
aspirants. Social recommendations. Christian life and the stage. 
Geniuses blushing unseen. Varied orthography. Attacks of 
stage-fever in middle age. Flattery and the telephone girl. Leav- 
ing the pulpit for the footlights. The amateur playwright. 
Scenarios and samples of poetry. Fertility. Shrewdness. Novel 
scheme of royalties. Solar system dramatized. Bacon and the 
phonograph. Schemes of the deadheads. 

Editors and publishers have their trials with ignorant 
and persistent novices In the literary sphere, but what 
are these compared with the adventurous souls possessed 
of the frenzy to get within the glare of the footlights or 
to hear their lines uttered from the stage ? The stage- 
struck are numerous. Many who wrote to my brother 
were of tender years, and sometimes appealed In couples : 
"I am fair and my friend Is very dark. We are called 
day and night because I am very fair signifying day and 
she dark signifying night, and we are called the dark and 
light Beauties." Nothing could be more lucid. "My 
friend Is a magnificent singer she has a superb volse and 
Is a very graceful dancer. We want to learn the Ballet 
dances to dance on the stage how long will It take to learn 
to dance and learn to play the plays. Our parents are 
vary wealthy and we vary wild and they treat us shame- 
fully and we have made up our minds that If you will give 
us a situation we will come providing we can get the stamps. 
We will have to run away." Another pair of youngsters 



are not so desperate. Sixteen years old, "and want to 
take part in some piece so bad. One of us is a Blonde the 
other a brunette, are from very respectable families, they 
do not want us to go on the stage but I think I could 
coax them if I was sure of a place on the stage. We 
never will be satisfied with anything until we are on the 
stage. Do not forget to answer even if the answer be 
NO then we will be satisfied." Still another couple, 
seventeen years of age, present the same contrasts of 
appearance and the same determination. The writer 
has black hair, dark blue eyes and is "fair complected." 
Her friend "is also light complected. We hope you will 
excuse our impudence in doing what we are but it is 
our ambition to get on the stage and there we will get." 
A young lady who is seventeen years old and five feet 
eight inches tall, "and take it altogether not a bad look- 
ing girl," hopes that Mr. Daly will not think it improper 
for a young girl to write to the manager of a theatre, but 
must make her wants known. "I have everything a 
girl could wish for but Papa wants to send me to a board- 
ing school and / won't go and that settles it. I am will- 
ing to do anything no matter what for the sake of not 
studying in horrid old books." She offers to give "plenty 
of references" If they are desired and wishes it to be under- 
stood that she is not "some novel-reading girl." Another 
aspirant who adds the curt postscript " age i6," announces 
that she has seen in Munsey^s Magazine that Mr. Daly 
has a "house or school for training young people for the 
stage," and that it has always been her desire to become 
an actress. Then we have a village lass who "has heard 
from friends that Mr. Daly is the manager of a theatre 
and that he is a Respectable Company", and "has often 
wished to be an actress if she could find a decent com- 
pany." A dutiful child of sixteen writes with her father's 


permission and can take comic and sad parts very good. 
A very precise young person informs the manager that 
she is exactly 15 years 3 months and 16 days old on the 
day she writes, that she is 5 feet tall and still growing, 
and that she would like to play all of Shakespeare's fe- 
male characters except Beatrice and Katharine. "In 
fact," she adds, "I would like to play anything where I 
should die." She frankly states that if she should have 
to "drag around in minor parts" all her life she would 
give up all thoughts of the stage and enter a convent 
when she comes of age. There is a very confident juvenile 
who is "not afraid to take any carictor in any play." 

Infant prodigies are described at great length by fond 
parents. A child of six years "plays a 10 cent harp with 
3 sleigh bells on rubber at wrist and shakes a hoop 
with canary bird in middle," besides agitating in some 
mysterious manner a whirligig which makes a sound like 
a nutmeg grater, "but it sounds fine with the harp." 

A youth of eighteen writes that if he goes on the stage 
he will of course have to run away from his parents ; 
but generally the boys are not so rash as the girls, and 
are certainly more shy about disclosing their ambitions. 

One adult writes that she is desirous of becoming an 
actress, "not of your limp namby-pamby kind but a whole 
soul artist whose fate it has been to inherit a volcanic 
temperature." She goes into the best society and has a 
good home, but her love for art overpowers her. Another 
lady tells us that she does not rely upon the fact that her 
family is one of the most aristocratic of the state, but 
upon the facts that she is well educated and considered a 
beauty — she "is a brunette, though not a typical one." 
A third who also goes into the best society puts the 
startling query, "Can any one live a Christian and be on 
the stage .^" On the life of an actress she seems to be 


fully posted, for she writes that she has a faint idea of 
what getting up at two or three after going to bed at 
eleven and twelve must be, but pluckily guesses she could 
stand that and "riding in freight cars." A young person 
who sings admits frankly that "the more I spread myself 
the flater I become." She aggressively concludes : "You 
have some regular 'sticks' in your company. I cant 
be any worse than they are and maybe better." Com- 
pleter justification for addressing a manager could not 
be disclosed than that of one who, at 26 years of age and 
happily married, says she would never think of embracing 
a theatrical career if she had not "transcendent genius." 
More modest and very candid is the lady who says she 
is not particularly brilliant, and has not the spirit of a 
Siddons nor the beauty of an Anderson, and is not a good 
actress, but is simply the "victim of ennui and dolce far 
niente," and wants to be amused ! 

The stage is one profession that ought as a rule to be 
entered before maturity. Some society beauties have 
successfully made a mature debut, but then they have 
probably been acting almost all their lives. Women or 
men who wait until a ripe age to gratify a secretly cherished 
longing for the boards, forget that they offer their attrac- 
tions in a market well supplied with youth, beauty, and 
experience. We can fancy the fate of such an appli- 
cant as the "single lady of 35 who could easily pass for 25 
years"; or the "broken-hearted woman of 31"; or the 
lady who "believes, nay knows" that she has in her 
"the elements of as fine a tragedienne as ever appeared 
in this country," who would prove a fortune to the man- 
ager who brought her out, and whose only fear is that in 
acting tragic parts her emotion, which "is apt to carry 
her away, may prove perilous to the gentleman who 
plays with her." And it is not difficult to prophesy 


regarding the dashing, brilliant, and beautiful widow 
whom twenty persons have pronounced a born Lady 
Teazle, but who feels that she is "impregnated with the 
spirit that characterizes Camille in her scene with Duval 
pere^^ ; or the lady who asks the manager to name his own 
price for bringing her out and guaranteeing to give her 
"a leading roll"! 

A touching naivete is disclosed in the letter relating 
how a gentleman, patron of the writer's telephone booth, 
told her that Mr. Daly ought to see her, for "such a face 
and figure ought to be behind the footlights and not wasted 
on the desert air of a huge office building" ; and how many 
gentlemen have told her that she had missed her calling 
and "ought to be an actress instead of an operator." 
It is reassuring to learn, however, that this young person 
has kept her head and "will not give up her position for 
an uncertainty," and that if a personal interview can- 
not be granted she can be "rung up" and talked with "a 
few minutes." It was, of course, in England that the 
"two friends" who wished "to get on the stage" and who 
enclosed a stamped envelope for reply, were by present 
occupation barmaids ; and it was in America, of course, 
that a young person described herself as a sales-lady. It 
must be admitted that only in the female sex are instances 
of complete frankness to be found ; e.g., one married lady 
candidly writes "I am stage struck"; and a maiden with 
admirable simplicity describes herself as "hankering for 
histrionic honors" and determined to get them, although, 
as she declares, "it seems to be as hard to get on the 
stage as to enter paradise." 

The mature male is not cursed with diffidence. One 
writes "with cool deliberation" that he has seen Booth, 
Barrett, and Davenport play Hamlet, and believes himself 
"capable of surpassing them all"; but handsomely offers. 


if Mr. Daly after hearing him recite a few passages says 
he is not capable of filling a position on the stage, to 
abandon the idea forever. A hero, undismayed by any 
possible discouragement, is determined to go on the stage 
at all hazards, because he has "a genus for it, and will 
keep on trying" until he is "90 years of age." Another 
is looking, not for a situation, but for a capable manager 
to bring him out as Hamlet; and a young man "gifted 
with many talents wishes to plant the germ at once — but 
where.''" After discussing the playhouses of the period 
and dismissing the Union Square as too monotonous, 
Wallack's as encouraging none but "dropping-lidded Eng- 
lishmen," and the Madison Square as weak, he concludes 
that Daly's is the school, for the reason that it is "senti- 
mental." A ci-devant college professor and ex-minister 
of the Gospel, "and quite successful too," confides that 
he has outgrown most of the religious beliefs of the day 
and has now decided to try the stage as a profession, but 
not, like other ministers who have gone on the stage, 
"to advertise himself." Another infatuated writer has 
the idea that with " a little practise " he could " speak blank 

Other communications must have been intended for 
Barnum ; notably one from a lady 3 feet 3I inches high, 
and one from a gentleman, incredible as it may seem, 
"loi feet tall." 

As to the amateur playwrights : An Egyptian semi- 
historical spectacle founded upon the discovery of Moses 
by Pharaoh's daughter is described in a letter detailing 
its fourteen tableaux, in the course of which the comic 
interest is to be supplied by a captured gorilla, whose 
"hoarse roar" is imitated by a mechanical contrivance 
to be furnished with the literature. The author modestly 
offers his production as "a work apart in the class Ai." 


Some writers furnish more than a mere synopsis, and 
quote from their pet lines : "Are they, those wondrous 
orbs, just only light, The ineffectual tinsel of Nights 
Garb?" "No, love; they are advertisements of the 
Proud Skies. Sometimes when I do think on them I do 
turn good." 

An industrious writer explains that he has just com- 
pleted within the year an historical comedy-drama ; a 
comedy founded on the "Pickwick Papers" ; and the plan 
of a drama "on a still more popular book"; and that he 
is now at work on "a couplet," which he has "material 
for as I can write it fast or slow as I wish." This, he 
opines, is "just the play for the Daly Co.," and will re- 
ceive the author's "tenderest care," as he is in love with 
his heroine himself and "hates to part with her." The 
vagueness in respect of facility in composition which is 
here discernible is not the fault of another correspondent, 
who says he has written two dramas, and "can write 
very good poetry at an average of 70 lines an hour" ! 
A gentleman whose play has been returned, savagely re- 
torts, "I tell you distinctly that it is equally as good as 
'The Merchant of Venice' or as 'As You Like It' and is 
so pronounced by as good judges as yourself of the drama." 
A playwright will let the manager have his piece "for one, 
two and even three months. But sir, I could not do so 
other than with your signature to a receipt." Another 
author will meet Mr. Daly and read a play to him, observ- 
ing "to send it, thats out of the question, for such is not 
business." The wound inflicted by such a want of con- 
fidence was, however, to be happily healed by an offer 
from another quarter to submit a piece valued tentatively 
by the author at ^15,000, accompanied by the declaration, 
"I trust to your honesty. If you do not want it return 
at my expence"; and by such handsome compliments as 


this, which we find on a post card: "I once heard an 
author say that you were the only gentleman who con- 
trolled a theatre in N.Y. because you answered him 
promptly and without equivocation or double entendre 
although your reply was No." 

The young lady who demanded as royalty "twenty cents 
on each ticket sold for a reserved seat at each perform- 
ance" had evolved a new idea. Another dramatist offers 
the manager who will "fix up" and bring out his play a 
half interest in a gold mine; and still another, with a 
"system of plays," "blending every scientific, social, 
political and financial avenue of society," proposes a 
"business alliance with some party skilled in writing plays 
to help fill up the characters as they occur in their order." 
The offer of a deposit of ^5000 "as guaranty" must 
have tempted the manager greatly to "come or send 
some one" to a distant city to read a play. A master of 
circumlocution asks: "Could I be capable of being in- 
formed where I would accomplish a first class man that 
would have the supplementary powers to place a powerful 
drama on the boards.^" 

Modesty seems rare among budding dramatic geniuses. 
"A boy not yet seventeen years of age," who has written 
"a tragedy in blank verse similar in form to the classics 
of Shakespeare and contemporaries," and who appraises 
his production at the reasonable figure of ^30, boasts 
that he is "resolution's slave," and will study dramatic 
writing at any cost notwithstanding parental discourage- 
ment. One feels that it must be a very young man, too, 
who has written a certain "Tradegy," and that they 
were two boyish aspirants who composed together "The 
Priest of Appolo, a short comedy of two acts." The 
literary professor who, they aver, characterized their 
work as a proof of uncommon ability, must have over- 


looked something. Any guess at the age of the gentleman 
who informs the manager "I have a book that I rote, it 
is of a play description," would be futile; but we must 
suppose it to be a very callow person who inquires whether 
*'a drama wherein comedy constitutes a prominent part 
should be writen in dialect or gramaticaly writen al- 
lowing the producers the liberty of the interpritation of 
the dialect." 

Vast possibilities are opened by "a Drama of the 
Solar System," representing the 8 larger planets, all the 
planetoids, the satellites, some of the comets, and showers 
of meteors. The author tells us that 350 or 360 persons 
will be needed in the play, the satellites and planetoids 
to be represented by children from 3 to 14 years of age. 
Relative magnitudes (Jupiter's moon Ganymede being 
larger than Mercury) and relative rates of speed should 
be maintained. He suggests a final grand march of orbs, 
comets, meteors, and bolides (how would one costume the 
bolides.'') and says that they "might be made intensely 
interesting." It seems superfluous for him to have added 
"All rights reserved." 

The crowning wonder, however, was indicated mysteri- 
ously by a writer who submitted (1894) a play which, he 
said, was "just such as Sir Francis Bacon Intended 
should celebrate the culmination of the greatest intel- 
lectual feat ever performed by man. Three centuries 
ago he spoke Into a phonograph that Is just now giving 
forth the tones of the greatest dramatist and most wonder- 
ful genius that ever trod on earth. Don't for a moment 
entertain the idea that I am mistaken. I can prove to 
any one beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Bacon wrote 
all of the plays known as Shakespeare's. The play will 
be the most sensational ever put on a stage and as Bacon 
says, 'pile up thousands in a trice.'" The title of this 


stunner was to be either "A Voice from the Dead," or 
"Birnam Wood has Come to Dunsinane." The author, 
as appears from a subsequent letter, was much nettled 
at Mr. Daly's surmise that the play was intended to be a 

My brother's correspondence discloses some schemes 
for getting free admissions that are extremely amusing. 
A young lady (a total stranger), who expects the Daly 
Company to play in her town, confides to him her regret 
that no one there ever thinks of asking a lady to go to 
the theatre. She could easily buy seats and offer one 
to an escort, but it would fill her with pride to be able to 
say, "A friend has sent me some complimentaries ; will 
you accept one?" A young salesman studying for the 
stage, who needs to visit the theatre often to complete his 
education, appeals to the manager for a pass, adjuring 
him, — "Oh answer me ! Let me not burst in ignorance ! " 
A "plain straightforward business man," noticing, as he 
says, remarks in the papers about a free list and passes, 
suggests that it is time for some of the latter to come 
his way, and adds, "Two orchestra seats for next Satur- 
day night will do." 

To conclude this catalogue of oddities, I will mention a 
pious correspondent who, reflecting, as she says, that in 
this great metropolis thousands cannot perhaps find time 
to breathe a prayer, will, for a small remuneration, de- 
vote many hours a day to prayer for those who have 
neither leisure nor inclination to pray for themselves. 
As advertisement of the project in the daily papers is 
thought advisable, a small contribution for the purpose 
is solicited. 


William Winter's book on Ada Rehan. Her letter and Coquelin's. 
Interdiction in France of Sardou's "Thermidor." "The Prayer" 
played at Notre Dame University, Indiana. Visit to Rome. Vene- 
tian holiday. Third visit of the Daly company to Paris. Sardou 
and Daly. Remarkable correspondence. How to deal with two 
rival managers. Fifth visit of the Daly company to London. 
Success of "The Last Word." Daly's Theatre, London. Mr. 
Whitelaw Reid's dinner. The Marlowe Memorial unveiled. 
Celebration of Mrs. Gilbert's seventieth birthday. Lord Tenny- 
son gives Daly his "Foresters" to produce in America. Daly's 
alterations for acting purposes approved. The story of Katherine 
and Petruchio treated by a Frenchman. Madame George Sand's 
improvement upon "As You Like It." Plays by Paul Blouet, 
Paul Leicester Ford, Henry Guy Carleton and Oscar Wilde. 
Return to America. 

In January (i89i)Mr. Dalyhad Mr. William Winter's book, 
"Ada Rehan, a Study," printed for presentation only. 
The limited edition in quarto was embellished with twenty- 
one portraits. Miss Rehan wrote to Mr. Daly on receiving 
a copy : 

"164 W. 93 rd St. 
My Dear Dear Mr. Daly, 

I have thought often of hovi^ I am to thank you & what I 
am to say for the beautiful tribute you have paid me — but such 
acts of kindness fill the heart too much. Such generosity speaks 
for itself, and for you & me when we are no more. I will steal 
a few lines of Herrick, which is something like what I wish to 
say : 

'Well may my book come forth like Publique Day 
When such a light as you are leads the way, 
Who are my work's creator, and alone 
The Flame of it, and the Expansion. 


And look how all those heavenly lamps acquire 
Light from the sun, that inexhausted Fire. 
So all my morne & Evening stars from you 
Have their existence — and their Influence too. 
Full is my book of Glories ; but all these 
By you become Immortall Substances.' 

Forever gratefully yours 
Feb. 25/91. A^^ Rehan." 

Coquelin acknowledged the receipt of his copy in a 
letter which also tells of the interdiction of Sardou's 
"Thermidor" by the Government censor. Here is a 
translation of it : 

"Friday, February 13. 
Cher ami Daly, 

With all my heart I thank you for the handsome book I 
received from you yesterday evening. It is an exquisite monu- 
ment built in honor of your greatest and most loved as well 
as most admired artist. All the different sides of Miss Rehan's 
talent, so supple, so deep, so distinguished, so deliciously ver- 
satile, are brought out in this book in all their brightness, and 
it is a veritable charm to turn the leaves of that album, where 
she is to be found in all her characters. . . . 

... If I have not written to you for a long while, my dear 
Daly, it is because I have had every annoyance imaginable, 
and was no more inclined to talk about them than to complain 
of them. What a funny country mine is ! It is perhaps, 
apart from very great theatrical curiosity, the only one that 
had any reason to greet that play ^ as a lesson of history, and 
it is the only one where the play is forbidden. It had scored 
an immense success, and I had found in it my best part, the 
most complex, the best developed ; the one in which I could 
best express my love for my profession ; and through an idiotic, 
stupid, shameful order, a whim of the canaille, the play is 
stopped. Yet I hope the last word has not been spoken, and 

* " Thermidor." 


that Sardou's drama will be given back to us together with his 
Labussiere — but it has been a hard blow to me, as artist and 
as Frenchman. I never felt so humiliated. What shall you 
do this summer ? Will you come to London and Paris .'' If 
so, I shall see you this time in both places, and be happy to 
meet you again. 

Give my respectful love to Miss Rehan, tell her of my joy 
at having seen her again in your beautiful book, and accept 
my affection and cordial devotion. 


Before sailing for Europe the company played in several 
American cities, and made a flying trip to South Bend, 
Indiana, to give a performance (June 15, 1891), at Notre 
Dame University, of Maurice Francis Egan's "The Prayer." 
The author was then a member of the faculty of the 

On July I the company left New York. Mr. and 
Mrs. Daly and Miss Rehan went for a vacation to Rome, 
Naples, Pompeii, Padua, Verona and Venice. I never 
saw enjoyment greater than my brother's during this 
Venetian holiday. It was enjoyed with boyish glee. An 
hour of such pleasure wiped out for him a year's worry. 

The third appearance of the company in Paris began 
August 31, 1891, and lasted a week, during which 
were played "As You Like It" ("Comme II Vous Plait"), 
"The School for Scandal" ("L'Ecole de Medisance"), 
"The Railroad of Love" ("Le Train d'Amour"), "A 
Night Off" ("Une Soiree de Premiere"), "Taming of the 
Shrew" ("La Megere Apprivoisee") and "The Lottery 
of Love" ("Les Surprises du Divorce"). In advance 
of the performances the Parisian journals devoted many 
columns to theatrical affairs in the United States. Readers 
were informed that New York alone had any organized 
company with a fixed abode, and that Boston, Phila- 


delphia, Washington, San Francisco, and Chicago had 
theatres but no companies. 

A fine house welcomed the company at the Vaudeville. 
This time the Parisians were in considerable force. "As 
You Like It" was studiously followed, book in hand. 
The acting was declared natural, subtle, and careful ; 
Gil Bias observed that the players "not only delighted 
the Anglo-American colony, but interested the entire 
Paris public. Their success was marked." 

"The Lottery of Love" was familiar to the Parisians 
as Bisson and Mars' "Surprises du Divorce." M. Mars 
came to see it, and declared the American version "very 
good indeed" and the piece excellently acted. He 
thought Drew played more "in the style of comedy" 
than Jolly, who created the part. There was no doubt 
about the public appreciation. The receipts of the week 
were over 27,000 francs. But more gratifying still was 
the demonstration of regard by the eminent French 
artists of the day, who were regular visitors to the per- 

Sardou was to come up from Marley to dine with 
Coquelin and accompany him to the Vaudeville to see 
"The Railroad of Love." He wrote on September i : 

"Marley le Roi, le i"" Sept. '91. 
My dear Daly, 

I intended, as I wrote to you, to go this evening to the 
Vaudeville and applaud you and your interpreters ; but an un- 
expected incident prevents my doing so, and I have asked De 
Gelbach, with whom I was to dine in company with Coquelin, 
to present my regrets and my apology. I intend to go and 
see the Lottery of Love on the 5th — that is, Saturday — en 
jamille. Will you be kind enough to save a large box for me 
on that day — we shall be ten ! ! I should have much pre- 
ferred to see another play of yours, but I have to reckon 


with my children, who want to be there; and they won't be 
free till Saturday. I counted upon seeing and talking with 
you this evening. I should not go to Paris till Saturday. 


Mr. Daly, as we know, had been for two years awaiting 
a play from M. Sardou suitable for the Daly company. 
The following correspondence relates to the subject; I 
anticipate a little in giving it here. Mr. Daly's letters 
are from drafts or copies I find preserved with M. Sar- 
dou's epistles, of which this one is evidently in answer to 
a communication of September i or 2 : 

"Marley le Roi, Jeudi, 3d Septembre, 1891. 
Dear Daly, — 

Dora is a dramatic comedy, Fedora a bourgeois tragedy, 
les Pattes de Mouche a light comedy of intrigue. A play that 
savoured of all three at the same time would be something like 
a haunch of venison and shrimp sauce, covered with chocolate 
cream. I shall never manufacture such a dish, either for Froh- 
man or for you ! 

The next play we have contracted for after it shall he pro- 
duced either at the Fran^ais, the Vaudeville or the Gytnnase, will 
be written as you wish, I hope, and in the form that has so 
often been successful to me. . . . 

You will readily admit, my dear Daly, that since we made 
our contract, I have had no play produced at the Gytnnase, at 
the Vaudeville, or at the Fran^ais except Thermidor, which did 
not answer your ideas, which I loyally offered you, and which 
you refused — a fact that neither surprised nor angered me. 

Thus I remain absolutely faithful to the letter as well as to 
the spirit of our contract, with the very great desire to fulfill 
it to our mutual satisfaction. 

That is what I intended to tell you Saturday, when I called 
on you at the Hotel. But you did not answer me on that 
point .... 

My friendship to yourself and all around you. 

V. Sardou." 


"My dear Daly 

I should not have a free moment if, in addition to French 
newspaper paragraphs, I should have to correct American 
canards. I have been asked if I had signed a new contract 
with you. I answered that I had not. That's all there is in 
it. Nothing is simpler, and you may correct the facts. 

As for the offensive comments, I hope, my dear Daly, that 
you do not associate me with these villainies, and I need not 
even defend myself in that quarter. 

Yours most affectionately, 


"London, Oct. 8, 1891. 
Aly dear Sardou. 

I am sorry to detain you a moment with a thought of my 
affairs ; but the case seems vital to my interest & to your word 
of honor. 

When I was in Paris and made some demur to your writing 
a play for another American manager while you had an un- 
fulfilled contract to furnish me a new play, a contract already 
over two years old, you informed me then in self-justification 
that this was an old play of yours written eight years or more 

Did you not say this to me that day you called on me at the 
Vaudeville Theatre .'' 

In the face of this comes to me the following report from 
New York giving a very full translation of a very long letter 
of yours — describing the new play which you say you are 
writing for the other manager; a play which is positively on 
the very lines & plan which you and I discussed at Marley nearly 
three years ago, and which you were to furnish me for my 

Am I not justified (after reading this report, which I enclose 
for your own edification) in feeling that I am badly used & 
that you are giving another what you had already sold or 
contracted to sell to me .'' 

I beg a reply at your convenience." 


"Paris, 9 October, 1891. 
My dear Daly, 

I did not tell you that at all. I did not tell you I was giv- 
ing Frohman an old play — I told you very distinctly that it 
was a play I was writing for him, on a scenario that I had had 
in my mss. for a long while, — which is not at all the same thing. 
I contracted with you for a new play to be produced in Paris; 
which is very clear, and not at all for a play to be produced 
for the first time outside of Paris, in New York. 

We never spoke together about any plot or any plan what- 
ever ! ! — You asked me to contract for a play, the first comedy 
that I should get produced in Paris, and that would contain a 
part for Miss Rehan ; that is what I am under contract for, 
and I am sorry to tell you that your letter is a great surprise 
to me. 

I am giving to nobody what I was to give you, and I per- 
mit you neither to think it nor to say it, and answer, as you 
ask me to, at my convenience, that I remain strictly and hon- 
estly within the terms of my contract. 

I owe you the first play, in Jour or five acts, that zvill be pro- 
duced in Paris and that will contain a part for Miss Rehan. 

That is all I owe you. I never bound myself to ask your 
permission to write another play, at my convenience, for any 
American manager or actor that I chose, and whose first per- 
formance should take place in N. Y. — Never! 

You have therefore nothing to claim, either in law or in 
equity, save what is in your contract, and I hold myself to this. 

A thousand friendships. y^ Sardou." 

"Oct. 10/91. 
My dear Sardou, 

I cannot permit one instant to pass after the receipt of your 
last letter without a reply thereto; for I will not suffer for a 
moment that any one should charge me with the lie as you have 
done without a most emphatic answer. 

I have a most competent witness as to what passed be- 
tween us at Marley and again at Paris ; and I assert again 


that at Marley we conversed directly on the subject & char- 
acter of the play I wanted — which was to be in the character 
of Dora or even more dramatic, such a play as might first be 
produced at the Fran^ais, or Gymnase, or Vaudeville. And I 
assert again that when we met at the Vaudeville & I referred 
with some feeling to the new play which you were said to be 
writing for another American manager — you told me the play 
you were giving him was an old play. 

However — I see very plainly that I am not dealing with a 
very conscientious man. 

You have had 20,000 francs of mine for over two years as 
guarantee for the refusal of the first play you would write which 
would suit my purposes. By a quibble you give the play to 
another. By a quibble, I say — for if you should have pro- 
duced this new play of yours first in Paris, I could & should 
claim it under my contract. It is to be done in America 
first — & I am in a manner defrauded of my right. 

But there is a way to end all this. I decline to have any 

further dealings with you. You may keep the money of mine 

you have — for I shall claim no play from you, if it was the 

best one you ever wrote. , • t^ , ,, 

Augustm Daly. 

"Paris, Oct. 12, 1891. 

Let me first observe that my letter was most courteous and 
that I simply desired to rectify the facts in a friendly way, 
without ever using the word lie — which I leave to you, and 
which you only use to envenom matters purposely, and to give 
you a pretext to break off. 

But since you assume this tone, I shall not hesitate this time 
to speak the same language as you. 

It is false, absolutely false, that I said to any one that the 
play I destined to Frohman was an old play. What I said, 
and what is quite different, is that it was a play planned long 
ago, in form of scenario, among my manuscripts, and which I 
had not written for France as it was too weak for the present 
taste of our Frenchmen, who want something more spicy. 


It is false, absolutely false, that between us we decided upon 
a subject, a plan, for the play I was to write for you. And I 
defy you to say what that alleged subject consisted of, that 
imaginary plan you are inventing for the purpose of suiting 
your end. 

We merely spoke of the kind of play, which is quite another 
thing. Plays may be written of the same kind, with different 
subjects or plans. You wanted your particular play to be of 
the Dora kind or even more dramatic, as you admit yourself. 

The contract furthermore stipulated that the play should 
first be produced in Paris, at the Vaudeville, the Gymnase, 
or the Frangais. And lastly that the leading part should be 
destined for Miss Rehan. 

Such are the facts, the agreements, such is the truth ! ! 

Now the play I have written for Frohman is not destined to 
be first played in Paris, at the Gymnase, the Vaudeville or the 

It is not of the Dora kind — nor dramatic. It is a pure 
comedy in three acts with but one single scene in the third act 
of some dramatic character, which disappears again at once. 

And lastly, the principal part, a young girl, would not suit 
Miss Rehan, who is a woman. 

This play, accordingly, answers none of the conditions 
of our contract, and if I had offered it to you, you would cer- 
tainly have answered that it did not suit you, contending, to 
justify your refusal, that it was not to be first played in Paris. 

Consequently it is not the play destined to you, your play, as 
you say ! And the one of us who fails in the contract is not I — it 
is you! who are taking up a quarrel for the sake of breaking. 

Well, let us break ! — I offered to do so amicably a year 
ago, and to refund the money. A few weeks ago, at the Vaude- 
ville, I should have done the same if you had expressed the 
desire. But today, in presence of the letter you dared to write 
me, there is no more question of friendship. I stick to my 
right, I accept the break, and I keep the money. 

Your servant ! 
Vict Sardou." 


Augustin's disappointment in the Sardou matter came, 
happily, while he was having success in England and 
was also occupied with plans for Daly's Theatre in 

On their return from the gratifying week in Paris, the 
company opened at the Lyceum Theatre, which had 
been hired for fifteen weeks at £400 per week from Mr. 
Irving. The play presented on September 9 was "A 
Night Off," already very familiar to the London public. 
Augustin wrote me on the 12th: 

"We opened here on Wednesday night to one of the largest 
audiences I ever had in England. But 'A Night Off' is voted 
beneath the Company now (especially beneath Miss Rehan) 
and so it has failed to draw. The scenes for Last Word are not 
ready, so we can't change until Saturday the 19th. Last 
year everybody cried for 'A Night Off,' but the success of 
'As You Like It' and other plays put it off. Six years ago at 
the Strand it was my great card. Today London turns its 
back on it. 

Our season in Paris was successful in every way. The 
receipts of the six performances were within a fraction of 25,000 
francs, nearly $5,000. The work was too great, however, and 
the anxiety too wearing. I shall not play in Paris again. We 
are all well, although . . . Mrs. Gilbert suffers from the 
bruises and hurts she had through a wardrobe in her room in 
Paris falling over on her." 

"September i8th, '91. 

Business has picked up a bit with the cooler weather. I hope 
the Last Word, which we produce tomorrow night, (19th), 
will please better — or rather draw better ; for Night Off^ 
though it was scored by the press and has comparatively light 
houses, has gone with all the old time laughter &: calls. . . ." 

"The Last Word" was an astonishing success. The 
New York papers of September 20 contained cable 


despatches announcing the fact. Augustin wrote on 
October i : 

"The papers you sent hardly express half the sensation which 
The Last Word has made here and the tumult which Miss 
Rehan's performance creates every night. If I were a Lon- 
don manager I would (on the strength of this success) take 
half a year's holiday." 

In this their latest production the Daly company at- 
tained the summit of dramatic reputation abroad. With 
regard to Miss Rehan's acting, one writer declared that 
"There is no English speaking actress who at the present 
moment exercises anything like the charm that belongs 
to the leading lady of Daly's Company . . . who has 
taken London by storm." 

This prodigious success, the culmination of so many 
others, resulted in the building of Daly's Theatre in Lon- 
don, which became necessary since Irving declined to 
give the time wanted for 1892, as did the management of 
the Haymarket. The corner-stone was laid October 
30, 1891 : 

"Gaiety Theatre, Strand, London W.C. 

Mr. George Edwardes requests the pleasure of com- 
pany on the morning of Friday next, at 12 o'clock, to witness 
the ceremony of laying the Foundation stone by Miss Ada 
Rehan of the new Theatre which he is constructing for Mr. 
Augustin Daly. Entrance in Coventry Street. 


Mrs. Bancroft christened the new theatre. 

During this long and pleasant stay in London, Mr. 
Whitelaw Reid made up a party for dinner and the opera 
on Augustin's birthday. The Marlowe Memorial was 
unveiled at Canterbury in September, and the Mayor 
invited Mr. Daly and all the company to be present. 


A delightful episode was the celebration of the seventieth 
birthday of Mrs, Gilbert by Mr. Daly at the Savoy Hotel. 
The famous Mrs. Keeley was there, now eighty-five years 
of age, and regarding "grandma Gilbert" as a mere girl. 
Mrs. Mellon (Miss Woolgon, the original Tilly Slozvboy 
and Fanny Squeers), Mrs. Bancroft, Mrs. Genevieve 
Ward, Mrs. Farjeon (daughter of Joseph Jefferson), 
Henry Howe, in his eightieth year (perhaps the only 
Quaker in the profession), and Harold Frederic were 
among the guests. All the ladies responded prettily 
when toasted, and Mrs. Bancroft proved to be an ac- 
complished after-dinner speaker. 

Lord Tennyson had recently placed in Mr. Daly's 
hands for production a pastoral comedy founded upon 
the story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian, and it was the 
poet's wish that Miss Rehan should create the part of his 
woodland heroine and that the first production should 
take place in New York. He entertained Mr. Daly and 
Miss Rehan at his place in Surrey to discuss the projected 
venture and to hear Miss Rehan read his lines; and in- 
trusted the shaping of the play for theatrical purposes to 
the American manager, consenting in advance to such 
changes as Mr. Daly's experience should suggest. The 
dramatic poem had not been composed with a view to 
stage representation ; it had, however, attracted profes- 
sional attention, and it was said that Miss Mary Ander- 
son was prevented only by her marriage from introducing 
it to the public. Tennyson's "Queen Mary" had been 
produced by Irving in 1876; "The Falcon" afterwards, 
by the Kendalls; "The Promise of May" by Mrs. Ber- 
nard Beere; and Miss Ellen Terry had created the part 
of Camma in "The Cup" at the Lyceum Theatre in 1881. 

Great as the compliment was, Mr. Daly had accepted 
a task of no common difficulty. The play had charm, 

AuGusTiN Daly 


but no strength. He prepared an acting version from the 
author's copy, had it typed, and sent it to Mr. Hallam 
Tennyson, who conducted all the correspondence of his 
father, then eighty-two years old. On the title-page Mr. 
Daly made two memoranda — one related to the title 
itself, which originally stood "Under Green Leaves; 
or the Foresters and Maid Marian" ; he proposed to change 
it to "The Foresters : Robin Hood and Maid Marian," 
saying : 

"My dear Hallam Tennyson: Whatever title Lord Tenny- 
son finally selects I will abide by. I give you my preference 

The other memorandum ran as follows : 

"This copy is simply my suggestion for the acting play; 
or for the work as it can be acted understandingly. I may 
have omitted too much. Restore again what you positively 
wish to go in, but I think the shaping of the piece should stand 
as I give it here." 

The changes as they left Mr. Daly's hands were more 
than the mere customary "omissions for representation" 
familiar to students. There were transpositions of scenes 
and incidents, including a material change in the principal 
episode ; the dream of Robin Hood and the fairies' visit 
were transferred to Maid Marian. It is enough to say 
that the author did not question the propriety of the 
change, and that he immediately rewrote the scene. In 
the published edition of the poet's work the reader will 
see the passage as originally written. On September 20, 
1 89 1, Hallam Tennyson. wrote : 

"By all means prepare yourself for a visit any day early in 
October, and will you tell Miss Rehan that my Father and 
Mother would like her to stay here any Sunday night that would 


be convenient to her. There is a 7 o'clock train from London 
on Sunday. He would like to talk to her about Maid Marian. 
Ought not the play to be called ' Robin Hood and Maid Marian ' .^" 

On October 5 Mr. Daly's manuscript was received 
by Lord Tennyson and the alterations were taken in hand 
at once. By this time the English papers were full of 
the subject, and every rumor was immediately published, 
including a story that Irving had suggested the idea of 
the piece to the Laureate. He did not authorize any 
such assertion. But there was much "gabbling," as 
Hallam Tennyson called it, in the papers. 

Questions of copyright having been submitted to 
counsel and settled, the formal agreement, portentous in 
size, was drawn by the author's English solicitors. 

This abstract and brief chronicle would be incomplete 
if it did not record some of the journalistic humor evoked 
by the Poet Laureate's ready submission to the Daly sug- 
gestions in preparing the work for the stage. Two effusions 
will suffice as specimens : 

"If I have overwrit, and laid — 

It may be here, it may be there, 
The fat too thickly on — with care 

To cut it down be not afraid." (Punch) 

"Air 'Patience.' 
Lately, aye and Daily, I the poet T — 
Worked at a play which seemed to suit A. Daly. 
I may say at once 'tis a kind of comedee, 

Just the thing for Daly, O ! 
Plot I don't much care for, 
Only language, therefore 
Thought I, that's the thing for Daly, O!" 

There was much more as valuable, in prose and verse. 
While Daly was in London, a unique experiment was 


interesting the Parisians. Ever since M. Coquelin had 
seen Miss Rehan in "The Taming of the Shrew" he had 
dreamed of enacting Petruchio to her Katharine^ and if 
that seemed impracticable, owing to the confusion of 
tongues, then of creating a Petruchio of his own. The 
dramatist Delair was encouraged to prepare a version of 
the "Shrew" for the Comedie Fran^aise in which Petruchio 
should be the leading character — not the brute that 
Shakespeare drew, but a gay and spirituel farceur, sub- 
jugating Katharine by Italian finesse and sixteenth cen- 
tury buffoonery, until she was wearied, worn, and tricked 
into submission. She, in turn, was not to be the majestic 
termagant abhorrent to Parisian taste, but a spoiled 
child indulged by her parents — otherwise all that a 
young person should be. This play, Coquelin wrote, 
was having an immense success, crowding the theatre at 
every performance. He got M. Delair to accept 7500 
francs for the American rights (Mr. Daly's offer) in the 
hope of either playing in it with Miss Rehan or of cre- 
ating the new Petruchio alone under Mr. Daly's manage- 
ment if she did not fancy herself as this bonny Kate. 
Madame George Sand, by the way, prepared in 1856 a 
version of "As You Like It" for the Fran9ais in which 
she interpolated two love scenes for Celia and the mel- 
ancholy Jaques, described by the French press as "of 
great charm and exquisite tenderness." 

Paul Blouet had written a comedy for Forbes Robert- 
son which he wished Daly to do in America ; and Fitz- 
gerald Molloy, the author of a popular life of Peg Wof- 
fington, had finished a comedietta, "Saucy Kitty Clive" 
(his first play), which was accepted. Harold Frederic 
dramatized his novel (published in 1887), "Seth's Brother's 
Wife, " and offered it with a new part added for stage 
effect : and Oscar Wilde wrote : 


"i2 Tite Street, Chelsea S.W. 
Dear Air. Daly, 

I send my play 'A Good Woman' (four acts); I should so 
much like you to read it and let Miss Rehan see it also. I 
should sooner see her play the part of Mrs. Erlynne than any 
English-speaking actress we have, or French for that matter. 
Anderson tells me you have kindly promised to let me have it 
back on Monday morning. Would you, if it would not too 
much trouble you, let me have it by a messenger. I will be at 
home at 12 o'c. and receive it from him. Accept my warmest 
congratulations on the great success of your season, and with 
kind regards to Miss Rehan 

Believe me 

Oscar Wilde." 

Henry Guy Carleton was in the field with two plays. 
One had been acted already, and he candidly enclosed to 
Mr. Daly "one of the bad notices — the worst in fact it 
had received." Paul Leicester Ford submitted a comedy, 
"Cupid's Insurrection." 

On the 15th of November the Daly company sailed 
for home, whither the manager had preceded them. 


Season of 1891-1892. Three revivals and two new plays before the 
production of "The Foresters." New additions to the company. 
Pinero's "Cabinet Minister." A new comedy from the French, 
"Love in Tandem." "The Foresters" produced. Success cabled 
to Tennyson and Arthur Sullivan. Theodore Watts. Sullivan's 
labor with the music. His letter. Messages from Tennyson. 
Tennyson and the omissions from the text. The " deer speech " 
restored. Eugene Field's views about writing prologues. 

The home theatre was now practically reconstructed. 
The stage had been increased in depth, the foyer stair- 
cases enlarged, and the foyer and auditorium redecorated. 
These improvements, and the prolonged season at the 
Lyceum Theatre, had delayed the New York opening 
until November 25, 1891, when "The Taming of the 
Shrew" was revived with Tyrone Power as Christopher 
Sly. Then followed "The School for Scandal" with 
Eugene Jepson as Sir Oliver, "The Last Word," and "As 
You Like It." Crowds came to see these revivals. 

Pinero's new comedy, "The Cabinet Minister," was 
given on January 22, 1892, with two newcomers. Miss 
Percy Haswell and Miss Louise Sylvester. The play was 
a delight to a few, but the verdict on the first night was 
not encouraging. The absence of Miss Rehan from the 
performance doubtless threw a shadow upon it. Pinero 
wrote to Augustin on January 26, 1892 : 

"My dear Daly 

I am indeed sorry to learn that The Cabinet Minister has 
served you so bad a turn. A combination of circumstances — 
to which the unhappy author has contributed his full share — 



has evidently settled the play on your side of the water. I 
think with you that the wise course is to dismiss disasters from 
one's mind. After a while the process becomes a mechanical 
matter and it is possible to defy misfortune. ..." 

On January 19 "Nancy & Co." was revived, and 
"Love in Tandem," from the "Vie a Deux" of Henri 
Bocage and Charles de Courcy, was produced on Feb- 
ruary 9. The run of this brilliant comedy had to be 
curtailed for the production of "The Foresters," which 
was now ready. 

On March 17 an expectant audience gathered for the 
first representation. It was known that the aged author 
awaited the event with solicitude, and had been so 
concerned by idle rumors concerning it that on January 
16, 1892, he cabled Mr. Daly: 

"Is report true that Miss Rehan retires from your Company ? 


It was the production of Pinero's play without Miss 
Rehan that had afforded paragraphers a chance to startle 
the Daly public and alarm the author. Mr. Hallam 
Tennyson was solicitous about the English as well as the 
American copyright, and being advised that both would 
be secure if a performance could be given in England on 
the same date as that of the American production, sent 
the following message on February 7 : 

"Cable exact date of performance in order to engage theatre 

He repeated the request on March 8. Arrangements were 
made with Henry Irving for the use of the Lyceum 
Theatre for the single copyright representation. Mr. 
Irving and Miss Terry were spectators, and Irving cabled 
to Daly on the 17th : 


"Foresters successfully produced. Public performance ten 
o'clock this morning. No critics present. 


It is not easy fully to convey the expectancy of the 
audience at the rising of the curtain on the first night of 
Tennyson's play. There had been an idea that the 
charm of the acting and the wealth of decoration might 
not serve to conceal the dramatic deficiencies of this 
work of the poet, who had never shown himself an effec- 
tive dramatist. It was therefore a gratification to 
watch the simple legend of Sherwood Forest unfold 
itself with easy grace and charm. 

The acting of Miss Rehan in the part was anticipated 
by Theodore Watts, "the friend of poets and their most 
valued critic," in an interview in London after a visit to 
Tennyson, during which he had heard the new play read. 
He said {London Times, October 4, 1891) : 

"Never did the poet reveal his sympathy with the spirit of 
the English woodlands more deeply than in this comedy, over 
which hangs the magic of the fairyland of the 'Midsummer 
Night's Dream' and 'The Faithful Shepherdess.' Nor would 
it be easy to imagine any character more suitable to bring out 
the peculiar and fascinating piquancy of Miss Ada Rehan's 
acting than that of the heroine of this play. Of this acting the 
special quality is, perhaps, that when her forces are fully focused 
in a dramatic situation, as they will be in many a one in this 
play, her command over all bodily expression, both of face and 
limbs, is so perfect that it is impossible to say whether the move- 
ment is born of the word or the word of the movement, and 
although the dramatist had not this actress in his mind when 
he drew the heroine, the character harmonizes with the unique 
charm of her genius as entirely as though it had been created 
for her." 


One of the surprises of the play was the song "Love 
flew in at the window," sung by Miss Rehan in the first 
act, the only time that an audience had heard her sing- 
ing voice since her first entry upon the stage of this 
theatre in 1879, when she appeared in "Love's Young 
Dream." Tennyson's words and Sir Arthur Sullivan's 
music were touchingly rendered by her. Praise was 
bestowed, without reserve and without exception, upon 
her performance and that of Mr. Drew and the others. 
After the third act Daly was called for, and appeared to 
receive one of the most rapturous demonstrations in his 
experience. He did what was uncommon for him — 
addressed the audience, concluding, "In Lord Tennyson's 
name I thank you for your most favorable reception of 
his comedy, and in the name of Miss Rehan, of Mr. 
Drew and of my entire company I thank you for your 
hearty and sympathetic reception of their endeavors." 

As soon as the curtain fell upon an assured triumph, 
the news was cabled to the Laureate and immediately 
acknowledged by him : 

"Warmest thanks to yourself and Miss Rehan and all who 
have taken so much trouble. Our congratulations upon the 
splendid success. 


The members of the company were photographed in 
costume, singly and In groups, and a set of the plates 
was sent to the author. Mr. Hallam Tennyson wrote 
from Farringford, Isle of Wight, on April 14: 

"My father's warm thanks. He admires Miss Rehan in 
the armor and with her big shield most; and when she is point- 
ing so boldly, bow in hand. What a beautiful Titania you 
have ! The pictures are all very suggestive of capital group- 
ings, and the dresses look splendid. Robin looks a handsome 


fellow and athletic to boot. The best reviews of the play in 
England have been the Daily News, Saturday Review, and 
Athenaum this week." 

The costumes were designed by Mr. W. Graham Robert- 
son, and a collection of the photographs was mailed to 
him. He wrote from Sandhills, Witley, Godalming, on 
April 19: 

"They will have for me an additional value as remembrances 
of your kindness & sympathy with my work. I am delighted 
to hear from Miss Rehan of the continued success of the 'For- 
esters. ' " 

Sir Arthur Sullivan was also cabled to on the night of 
the great success. An elaborate letter, too long to quote 
here, written to Augustin as early as December, shows his 
conscientious and minute care in every matter of prepa- 
ration. Upon the music for the fairy scene, which he says 
bothered him a good deal, he had been in correspondence 
with Lord Tennyson, and wished he could have had a 
half hour's consultation with Mr. Daly. He had the 
parts copied by his own copyist and staff, who under- 
stood every indication in the score. He had calculated 
the minimum for the orchestra, and had omitted cornets, 
trombones, and drums, but said there would be needed 
"2 flutes, I oboe, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, i tri- 
angle for the fairy scene, 6 first violins, 4 second ditto, 
2 violas, 2 cellos, and 2 double basses." Good men 
should be chosen, "as two good strong double basso 
players, for instance, produce more tone and a better 
musical sound than four duffers." When the news of 
the success came to him, he had just been through a 
distressing Illness, and wrote a long letter which is given 
here in part : 


"Villa Masse, Turbie sur Mer, Alpes Maritimes. 

27 March, 1892. 
Dear Mr. Daly, 

In the first place please forgive my writing in pencil, but as 
I am still in bed & very weak I dare not risk the damage which 
I might do to the sheets if I used ink ! Besides, the labor is 
greater. I was delighted for every one's sake when I received 
your telegram announcing the success of 'The Foresters' — 
afterwards confirmed by all the newspaper reports. Author, 
composer, actors & last but not least, manager, seemed to have 
scored a success, and that is always satisfactory. I was too 
ill to write or take any active part (by suggestion &c.) in the 
production, but none the less I was keenly interested in it & 
had many practical ideas on the subject. But when one is 
racked by physical pain, and then in the reaction prostrated by 
weakness, it is impossible to show active interest in anything, 
and I really have had a very bad time of it lately. . . . This 
is all about myself, nothing about the 'Foresters' yet, but I am 
sure you will forgive this little egotism. I am especially de- 
lighted that the fairy scene was so successful — because this is 
the most important musical number in the piece, and, although 
I have not read any detailed criticism, I expect your stage 
managed it exactly as I had figured it to myself. It wanted 
delicate handling, and by a practical stage hand to make it 
effective, and as originally planned by the 'Bard' would have 
been dull and difficult. By the way, I should be much gratified 
if you would send me two or three of the best-written criticisms. 
I can't get them over here. I am surprised that the 'Buzz' 
song made such a success. I didn't expect it, as it was only a 
bit of word painting. I suppose it was transposed for Miss 
Cheatham, as it must be too low for her in the original song. . . . 

I hope to be back in England in a fortnight from now, so 
please address there, not here. 

With my kindest remembrances to Miss Rehan, believe me. 

Yours very sincerely, 

Arthur Sullivan." 


The interest felt in England is shown by the arrange- 
ments made by English newspapers for cable despatches. 
There were private messages as well. Mr. Hallam Tenny- 
son wrote Mr. Daly on July lo that Lady Martin had 
sent to Lord Tennyson "a charming letter from Mr. 
Horace Furness about the play, which pleased my father 
greatly. 'That,' he says, 'is exactly what I feel about 
it.'" Brander Matthews, writing to Augustin after the 
first night, while reserving his opinion as to the dramatic 
value of "The Foresters," says: 

"But there can be no doubt as to the beauty and the ade- 
quacy of the interpretation it received at your hands ... we 
were both especially pleased with the song Miss Rehan sang 
in the first act and with the very artistic simplicity with which 
she sang it." 

The weeks following this delightful first night were 
enlivened by a continued flow of critical appreciation 
and by the illustrations of the scenes and personages 
in the journals. Harper's and Life published dainty 

Although Tennyson had left it to Daly's discretion to 
alter the play for representation, he nevertheless scruti- 
nized the changes with an anxious eye. We have seen 
that he consented to the transfer of the Fairy scene, — 
the most poetic and spectacular in the play, — from 
Rohin Hood to Maid Marian, and he also acquiesced in 
the transposition of it from the end of the second act to 
the end of the third. The curtailment or omission of 
lines was assented to except in two instances. A cable 
of January 25 from Hallam Tennyson read : 

"Stage copy approved. Insert deer speech." 
and a letter from him followed on January 27 : 


"The two fine speeches of Marian must not be omitted — 
that about 'Strong against the stream' & that about the deer 
at the end. The public would blame you when the play ap- 

The "deer speech" was retained by Augustin, and will 
be found in the acting copy as well as in the original. It 
is as follows : 


. . . Pity, pity ! — There was a man of ours 

Up in the north, a goodly fellow too. 

He met a stag there, on so narrow a ledge — 

A precipice above and one below — 

There was no room to advance or to retire. 

The man lay down — the delicate-footed creature 

Came stepping o'er him so as not to harm him. 

The hunter's passion flashed into the man, 

He drove his knife into the heart of the deer; 

The deer fell dead to the bottom, and the man 

Fell with him, and was crippled ever after. 

I fear I had small pity for that man. 

You have the moneys and the use of them, 

What would you more .^" 

The stage copy when it came back from Lord Tennyson 
bore a marginal note in pencil, by Hallam, in the place 
where the lines had been cut out by Daly : 

"Good heavens! Put in the most beautiful speech in the 
play for Marian about the deer." 

Other details besides literary ones were submitted to 
the author. On the question of presenting Marian at 
the last in bridal dress, or robing her and Robin so as to 
emphasize the restoration of his rank and title by Rich- 
ard, a letter of January 27 contains a postscript : 


"The earl and countess robes will never do at the end of the 
play. If anything is wanted my father says that Marian might 
be hastily arrayed in bridal white with veil, or the crown (pre- 
sented to her as queen of the woodland), while Robin is parley- 
ing with the Knight. My mother is now flat against the short 
kirtle for Marian, but we think that a short, but not too short, 
kirtle in one scene would be very effective. You must arrange 
all these points, my father says." 

The cast was as follows : 

Richard Coeur de Lion Mr. George Clarke 

Prince John John Craig 

Robin Hood, Earl of Huntingdon . , John Drew 

Sir Richard Lea Charles Wheatleigh 

The Abbot Thomas Bridgland 

The Sheriif of Nottingham . . . . ' Charles Leclercq 

A Justiciary William Gilbert 

A Mercenary Wilfred Buckland 

Walter Lea, son of Sir Richard . . . Ralph Nisbet 

Little John Herbert Gresham 

Friar Tuck Eugene Jepson 

Will Scarlet Hobart Bosworth 

Old Much Tyrone Power 

Young Scarlet Lloyd Daubigny 

First Friar William Sampson 

First Beggar George Lesoir 

First Retainer Power 

Kate, attendant on Marian .... Miss Kitty Cheatham 

The Old Woman of the Hut .... May Sylvie 

Titania, Queen of the Fairies .... Percy Haswell 

First Fairy Miss Massoni 


Maid Marian Miss Ada Rehan 

The season closed on the anniversary of Shakespeare's 
birth, with a revival of "As You Like It," preceded by 
"A Woman's Won't," so that all the favorites of the 


Daly company might appear on the same stage for the 
last night. 

It appears that my brother had had the idea of open- 
ing this season with some sort of prologue, and that his 
first thought was of his friend Eugene Field, who fear- 
fully declined. Field proposed a substitute in one of 
his model epistles, which resembled a leaf out of a fif- 
teenth century manuscript, with the initial letter in 
color and the rivulet of text flowing through a meadow 
of margin : 

"Dear Mr. Daly: I never wrote a prologue in all my life, 
and I have not the courage to try to write one. I would to God 
I felt differently about it, for I should like to be of service to 
you. Why not get Andrew Lang to do the work ? He would 
do it in scholarly and graceful wise and cheap too. I have a 
letter he wrote to a magazine publisher in which he complains 
of having been overpaid for a certain poem ! Lang lives at No. 
I Marlowe Road, Kensington, and you may tell him, if you are 
pleased to write to or call upon him, that I am hoping that he 
will do the prologue. Clement Scott might answer your purpose, 
but I fancy not. / think his poetry is simply awful. But Lang 
is just scholarly and cranky enough to suit such maniacs as 
you and I are. You see I take an interest in this scheme of 
yours and I want to help you out with it. With sincere regards 
Ever Yours cordially, 

Eugene Field. 
Chicago, July the 24th, 1891." 


Sir Edwin Arnold, F. Hopkinson Smith, and Thomas Nelson Page. 
Richard Mansfield and Daly. Mansfield proposes a joint enter- 
prise. Characteristic letters. Daly's extra-illustrated copy of 
the Bible is completed in forty-one volumes. English and American 
inlaying. Mark Twain and bath tickets. Mr. Daly asks for a 
play from Henry James. Letters on the subject. The Players. 
Death of Florence. Last glimpse of Mrs. Scott-Siddons. Open- 
air performance at Lake Forest. San Francisco. Last appear- 
ance of John Drew with the Daly company. 

On January 12, 1892, Sir Edwin Arnold began a course 
of morning lectures and readings at Daly's, but suffered 
so from grippe that he had to break off with the third 
lecture. On the loth of February, 1892, he wrote: 

x^ TV /r T^ , "Feby. 10, 1892. 

Dear Mr. Daly, ^ ' ^ 

Most heartily do I thank you for your kind letter, & right 

gladly wd. I accept the pleasant invitation it extends were it 

not that my doctor still commands me to keep indoors as much 

as possible so as to gather strength for the long journey to 

Japan. My reading on Monday will be an effort, inspired by 

gratitude and regard towards all my kind & generous friends in 

America, among whom you have shown yourself one not to be 

forgotten. ^^ , , 

Yours always truly, 

Edwin Arnold." 

On February 13 he gave his final reading and made a 
farewell speech, saying, "I came to America her friend; 
I go away her champion, her servant, her lover." 

Readings by F. Hopkinson Smith and Thomas Nelson 
Page began on February 11. A letter from Thomas 



Nelson Page upon his return to Richmond on February 
25, 1892, thanks Mr. Daly for the gift of a copy of "Wof- 
fington" : 

"You have told the story charmingly and there could not 
be a more beautiful monument to a beautiful and accomplished 
woman. I tender you my warm congratulations upon the 
work, and I shall prize my copy both for its merit and because 
it is the production of one whom I admire and whose friendship 
I prize." 

On September 12, 1892, Richard Mansfield brought his 
own company to Daly's with a dramatic version of Haw- 
thorne's "Scarlet Letter." This distinguished and erratic 
performer rendered the stage a great service, not only by 
his art, but by his outspoken criticism of the commercial- 
ism which threatened its development. He had enter- 
prise, daring, discernment of the public taste, and convic- 
tions of the demands of art. His individual impersonations 
were unequal ; but in almost every part he undertook, he 
surpassed expectation. It had for some time been his 
desire to play in Daly's Theatre, and he first proposed 
it in a letter to his friend William Winter, written on 
March 13, 1892 : 

"... I wish now to ask you if you would see Mr. Daly 
for me — I have never met him — & whether you would 
interest yourself in a project I have been for some time re- 
volving in my mind (that is if the project seems feasible to you). 
I am greatly hampered for want of a Theatre & at the same 
time I fear to load myself with its responsibilities, when I have 
already so much on my hands. It occurs to me that the follow- 
ing arrangement could be made. That Mr. Daly should divide 
his season equally between Miss Rehan & myself, i.e., that he 
should produce, for a part of the season, plays in which Miss 
Rehan would be prominent, & that she should then (greatly 


to Mr. Daly's advantage) visit the principal cities — when I 
would come in & produce, in conjunction with & under Mr. 
Daly's management, such plays as we might mutually agree 
upon & devise. I think in this way great plays could be done 
at Mr. Daly's Theatre. We could go into all the archaeology 
of the things & we could paint & dress our plays as they have 
never been dressed & painted before. I should be associated 
with a man who is certainly sincere in his devotion to the Arts. 
Of course Miss Cameron would be with me as my principal 
support — but outside of that Mr. Daly's forces would assist 
me — i.e., Mr. Daly would have a sufficiently large army to 
support Miss Rehan & myself & he would be able to change them 
about in accordance with the exigencies of the plays produced. 
I draw very large houses in the country & I would of course 
give Mr. Daly a handsome percentage of my earnings out of 
the metropolis. 

I purpose for my first appearance next season presenting Ca- 
gliostro — a theme of great power & beauty. I propose follow- 
ing this with — certainly — 'Mazarin' & perhaps 'Dean Swift.' 

If such an arrangement as I propose could be effected with 
Mr Daly I should be of course under Mr. Daly's management, 
& we could always play to advanced prices in the country, & I 
think Mr. Daly would be master of the strongest, the two most 
powerful organizations in America. 

N.B. I may add that I am urged to this combination with 
Mr. Daly very largely by the fact that upon every side new 
Theatres managed by speculators only are springing up, & 
that Mr. Daly is the only man in this Country who seems to 
have the interests of Art at heart, & that I must stand shoulder 
to shoulder with the older man." 

Mr. Winter's good offices were employed with success. 

"4 West 28th Street. 

, , _ , April the 5th, 1892. 

My dear Mr. Daly, ^ ^ ' v 

Mr. Winter was good enough to forward to me your gracious 

invitation to luncheon, which I was forced to decline, as we 


meditated giving a matinee on Wednesday, but now I have 
been compelled to postpone that — I cannot play 'Nero' twice 
in a day. So if you are still of a mind to have me, I shall be 
glad to join you. Still I rarely eat at that hour, & I drink not 
at all during the day and a quiet chat and the pleasure of meet- 
ing you will suffice for me. 

I am quiet here, if you would honor me .'' 

Very truly yours, 

Richard Mansfield." 

Mr. Mansfield developed his idea more fully in a letter 
to Mr. Daly dated April 8 : 

"... One thing is very distinct in my mind and that is 
the impossibility and the inadvisability of making an appear- 
ance here otherwise than as a star of the first magnitude — I 
owe that much to the managers of other cities who render me 
65, 70 & 80 per cent of the receipts. Otherwise I am glad and 
happy — (more happy than I can say) to make any arrange- 
ment whereby I should gain the benefit of your advice and 
experience & your admirable management. It seems to me 
that as I should have to travel with the production in- 
stantly upon the termination of the season at your Theatre, 
I should be supported by the Company that has played with 
me there. It seems to me that that Company should be 
selected & engaged by you — and that they should be under 
your direction — of course the Company should be engaged 
with a view to its ability to play my repertoire, as many 
cities require me to play such plays of mine as have be- 
come popular, & in very many cities I have not yet appeared 
at all. I think / should like : Mr. Richard Mansfield supported 
by Mr. Daly's Company and under the management of Mr. 
Augustin Daly. 

It seems to me that with my strength in the country this 
combination would be as successful as the late Barrett & Booth 
arrangement — & more satisfactory in New York proper. I am 
satisfied with a salary — or any arrangement you would make. 


I should stipulate that Miss Cameron should always appear in 
my support if there is any suitable part. 

It's a great pity I may not see you. I do not think letters are 
satisfactory — there is so much to be said pro & con. I leave 
to-morrow at 4:30 from Weehawken — If you would be very 
gracious & take a day off .'' I have my car & we would settle 
everything & chat quietly — but as I have already said any 
arrangement whereby I am enabled to give all my attention 
to acting & which does not lessen my position but which must 
heighten my position, is satisfactory to me." 

"Los Angeles, May 20th, 1892. 
My dear Mr. Daly, 

I thank you for your letter which I was awaiting with im- 
patience. I quite comprehend all you say & I wish with all 
my heart that it could be otherwise. I would very gladly give 
up a large share of my profits to be with such a master as you 
and to be guided and directed by you. But I cannot sink my 
identity and I cannot give up the little I have accomplished 
in the past years of incessant labor. My name must be upon 
my banner as the actor; — the management, and all authority 
and authorship I will joyfully relinquish. I am exceedingly 
ambitious & I confess it — I desire to produce great plays and 
to play them greatly and with God's aid I shall accomplish 
this. If I could have such a man as you by my side it would 
be accomplished sooner. I have no Theatre, I have no work- 
shop — I have little or no management. I should like to 
acquire the management and the workshop & I should like 
advice and guidance. I cannot very well see myself always — 
which is as unfortunate as it is fortunate. The scheme I had 
in mind does not seem to meet with your approval. It was 
simply that when your own special Company was away from 
your Theatre, you should play me & my Company, or me sup- 
ported by a company of yours. But failing this, I shall be glad 
to play in your Theatre & I shall be very glad & very grateful 
for your advice. If this meets with your approval all that 
remains is for us to arrange the time — & to settle on the play. 


If for the latter you can advise me or if you can supply me I 
should indeed be glad. I had almost ventured to hope that 
you would take sufficient interest in me to find the play & the 
Company, and whatever terms you might indicate I should 
be most happy to accept. 

My books are always open to you and you will see that I 
make an average profit (with an expense of $2200-$2300 a 
week) of from $1000 to $2000 a week ; my responsibilities in 
the past have been very heavy and are so still & I could not 
therefore afltord to do less well than I have been & am doing. 

Please believe me to be, dear Mr. Daly, with great regard, 
always yours truly, Kxch2.vd Mansfield." 

"The Mollis St. Theatre, 

AT 1 TVT ivT r 11 Boston, May 31, 1892. 

My dear Mr. Mansfield, ' -^ J ' ^ 

I think that eventually you and I shall agree on a basis of 
mutual interest which will be entirely satisfactory to both of us. 
I do not want to submerge your individuality or personality or 
fame in any way — but at the same time I cannot afford to be 
less than Commander in Chief of all my forces from the highest 
officer under me to the humblest. Only in this way can I lead 
you on to victory — the victory which we both would desire. 

Now let us make something of an experiment. 

You say you have four weeks open which you can play at my 
theatre from Sept 5th. Now suppose you make up a company 
of your own to play during that period ; and let us share the 
receipts equally. I will furnish you the theatre and all attaches, 
lights, stage forces, and the orchestra. You furnish yourself 
& the performance. I have a play which I think would serve 
as a sensation for part of the time ; it is Coquelin's version of 
'The Taming of the Shrew.' I have his copy and mise en scene, 
and all the American rights. There are some new and original 
effects in the piece. It is showy in the extreme. It might 
require one new scene to be painted. The costumes might be 
hired. The piece costs me 5 per cent, of the Gross ; if you 
care to experiment with it I will be willing to halve this extra 


{i.e. the royalty) with you. I think the novelty will be great. 
It will not clash with my version and the cast is not large. 
The play is only crudely translated as yet; but I suppose I 
might get some one of our rising dramatists to work at once. 
If the piece makes a hit and you wish to take it on tour I shall 
charge you seven per cent of the gross receipts whenever and 
wherever you use it, for one year. 

My suggestion would be for you to give seven performances 
each week ; and to open with Brummell for one week ; the 
next week to do 'The Shrew' and let it run for two weeks (or 
3 if a great success) or during the last week do other plays. 
By that time I may have another more modern play to try you 
in. I have one in mind now. It is Jerome's version of Die 
Ehre, which he calls Birth & Breeding. The part Possart 
played might suit you. 

Now if you like I will send you both of these plays to read. 
Then you can telegraph me 'terms accepted' and write your 
views ; and we will make a regular contract for this experi- 
mental engagement — with the option of others to follow. 


A. Daly." 

"Portland, Ore., Monday, June the 6th, 1892. 

My dear Mr. Daly, 

I am in receipt of your letter, for which accept my best 
thanks — I have said I shall be delighted to play with you 
and under your direction. With regard to M. Coquelin's 
version of 'The Taming of the Shrew.' It occurs to me that 
it would be quaint to play a Frenchman's version of Shake- 
speare translated back into English. It seems to me 'une chose 
impossible.' I might play it in French & I should be glad to 
do so — but in English no — it would be too queer. I fear 
there could be but one cry : What is the matter with Shake- 
speare .'' Then too who could play 'Katharina' after Miss 
Rehan .'' Who would? I fear this is not to be done unless — ■ 
as I have said — I did it in French. Jerome's translation of 
'Die Ehre' on the other hand seems an excellent idea & one 


I should be glad to entertain if after reading the play I find the 
character I should have to present, suitable & interesting — 
which since you think it so, no doubt it is. (I interject a little 
idea here — some day, when we want to sweep the Country, 
let us play ' The Merchant of Venice ' — Miss Rehan as ' Portia ' 
& for me 'Shylock,' with an ideal Venice. Lewis as Launcelot 
Gobbo, etc., etc.) 

The terms you mention are perfectly satisfactory. It would 
be in my opinion — & I speak from experience — idle to open 
with Beau Brummell or any of my well-worn plays in New 
York — we need more than a success d'estime — we need 
money, & Beau B. will not, for a year to come, draw one dollar 
in New York. Nor any of my plays excepting Richard III., 
& of that I have no longer the scenery. 

I have an idea, which I advance with considerable hesitation 
& which has been in my mind for some years — & in which, 
from what I can gather, there is a large amount of money, — 
but it will in its execution demand an enormous amount of care 
& thought, some literary effort & some money. It is 'Napoleon 
Bonaparte.' I should call the play simply 'Napoleon Bona- 
parte,' & I should deal with the subject from the period of his 
assumption of the Imperial purple to the time of his lonely 
death on the Island of St. Helena. 

I wonder if you would help me with this ^ It would make a 
great popular play — it would appeal to all classes and all 
peoples. I should make Mme. Recamier the heroine, I should 
introduce the beloved Queen Louise of Prussia, Josephine, & 
Marie Louise of Austria. I beg you in any event to consider 
this suggestion absolutely confidential, & it is, I feel, hardly 
necessary for me to say this. I do not know where to address 
this, so I send it to the Hollis Street Theatre in the hope that 
it may reach you. 

I do earnestly hope I may be able to arrange to play in your 
house — but it has to be swiftly decided as others are waiting 
to hear from me with regard to that time (in September). 

Most truly yours, 
Richard Mansfield." 


The play finally chosen was a dramatization of 
"The Scarlet Letter" by Joseph Hatton. It was pro- 
duced at Daly's Theatre, New York, on September 
12, 1892. 

Daly's library was enriched this year by his "extra- 
illustrated bible" of forty-one volumes, for which he had 
collected every known engraving suitable for insertion 
in a folio volume. The task of sorting these prints and 
putting them in order for the binder took Henry Black- 
well's spare time for two years, not including the work of 
inlaying the smaller prints and mounting every sheet of 
the text (two copies of the Douai folio being used in the 
process), which was executed by the first artists in that 
line in America. Mr. George Trent, one of the experts, 
said that although English mechanical work as a rule is 
excelled by none, he never saw one of their inlaid books 
even decently done. 

Some interesting ideas for plays were entertained by 
my brother this year. Mark Twain had once written 
a comedy called "Colonel Sellers as a Materialist," but 
when its prospects as a play proved hopeless, he rewrote 
it as a novel under the name of "The American Claim- 
ant." In its dramatic form Twain said Mr. A. P. Bur- 
bank "made two attempts to make it go, but it wouldn't." 
When the novel appeared, Daly, curiously enough, 
thought it good material to dramatize, and wrote Twain 
making the suggestion ; the author, then in Bad Nauheim 
for the cure, wrote on August 13, 1892 : 

"You bang away and dramatize the book your way & that 
will be my way. . . . These are mighty good baths, & if you 
want to try them come here & I will treat to bath tickets." 

At Mr. Daly's suggestion Henry James this year wrote 
a comedy for the Daly company : 


"Hotel Metropole, 

Brighton, September ist, 1892. 

My dear Mr. Daly, 

I am much obliged to you for reading my play — as to which 
I think I may say that I haven't any illusions — any that 
prevent my understanding that you shouldn't be 'satisfied' 
with it. I am far from satisfied myself, but as the thing cost 
me, originally, a good deal of labour & ingenuity, I was unable 
to resist the desire to subject it to some sort of supreme pro- 
bation. If it had a fault of which I was very conscious, I 
thought it perhaps had other qualities which would make it 
a pity that I shouldn't give it a chance — since a chance so 
happily presented itself. To tell the truth, now that I have 
given it this chance my conscience is more at rest, & I feel as if 
my responsibility to it were over. Its fault is probably funda- 
mental & consists in the slenderness of the main motive — 
which I have tried to prop up with details that don't really 
support it; so that — as I freely recognize — there is a lack 
of action vainly dissimulated by a superabundance (especially 
in the last act) of movement. This movement cost me such 
pains — & I may add such pleasure ! — - to elaborate that I 
have probably exaggerated its dramatic effect — exaggerated 
It to myself, I mean. The thing has been my first attempt at a 
comedy, pure & simple, & as 1st attempts are, in general, mainly 
useful as lessons, I am willing to let it go for that. At any rate 
I am far from regarding it as my necessary last word. You 
will wonder perhaps that as I defend Mrs. Jasper so feebly I 
could still care to talk with you about her. But this will give 
me pleasure, all the same, & I shall avail myself of your leave 
to do so. I am spending a few days at this place, but I shall 
be in London to-morrow, Friday, & if I hear nothing from you, 
here, to the contrary, will call on you at (say) three o'clock. 
I can't forego any opportunity of seeing a manager! Believe 

Yours very truly 

Henry James." 


"September 8th, 1892. 

34 De Vere Gardens, W. 
Dear Mr. Daly, 

I am moved to let you know, as it may, before you sail, be 
a convenience to you, that these last days have enabled me to 
judge that I shall be able, at no very distant date, to send you 
a 'Mrs, Jasper' materially reconstructed and improved — 
purged at any rate of the worst of her errors. I have been 
taking the problem seriously in hand and I think light has 
broken upon me. I shall despatch you the part, at least, very 
considerably ameliorated — & shall probably be able to let 
you have the whole thing by the last of October. I have it 
at heart to mention this by way of farewell — for a very limited 
time, I hope, — to Miss Rehan. Will you very kindly convey 
this friendly goodbye to her & believe me, with the best wishes 
for your homeward journey — 

Yours very truly, 

Henry James." 

The production of the play was postponed for a year 
with the intention of putting it in rehearsal for Daly's 
new theatre in London. As the time approached the 
solicitude of the manager led him to propose further 
revision, and the author wrote (November 6, 1893) : 

"I have given very earnest consideration to the text of my 
play, but with an utter failure to discover anything that can 
come out without injury. It was in the extremity of my effort 
at concision and rapidity during my writing of it as it now 
stands that I took out & kept out everything that was not in- 
tensely brief — & this effort seems to me to have left nothing 
behind to sacrifice — nothing that can be sacrificed without 
detriment to elementary clearness — to the rigid logic of the 
action & the successive definite steps of the story. The few 
eliminations are, in short, the only ones that are in the least 
practicable — every line being in such close relation to every 
other line and to the total. Moreover, as it stands, the thing 


appears to me to go — as if at least it ought to go — with re- 
markable brightness and quickness. If the public don't feel 
in it the maximum of that quality the public will — I can't 
help thinking — be a bigger ass than usual! If later, when 
we can talk of it — you are moved to show me any definite 
place where anything can be, to your sense, spared, I shall of 
course be very happy to consider it. I don't think we need 
have any fear in respect to the duration of the ist & 2d acts, 
considering what they are & what the interpretation will make 
them. I noted a couple of nights ago, with what serenity the 
audience at The Garrick accepted the 55 minutes apiece of 
each of the two first acts of Diplomacy & I don't fear to declare 
that our play is very fundamentally brisker! I shall keep 
myself wholly open to impressions at rehearsal & be only too 
eager to keep an eye on the text in the light of that test. I 
enclose a paper on which I have indited as many possible titles 
as I can think of — good, bad and indifferent. ..." 

The discussion of titles (to supersede "Mrs. Jasper") 
was thorough, and the list enclosed by Mr. James was of 
more than fifty names suggested by the leading points of 
the play. The result of all this care on the part of author 
and manager was disappointing. The piece was put in 
rehearsal and scenery purchased ; but Augustin lost faith 
in "Mrs. Jasper," and the attempt to bring it out was 
therefore given up. It will be found in Mr. James' 
collections of plays published in London in 1894 and 
reviewed in the papers of June of that year. 

Augustin was reelected vice-president of The Players 
on May i, 1892. Brander Matthews was taken on the 
Board of Directors to succeed William J. Florence, whose 
death had occurred in the previous November. Flor- 
ence was a great loss to the stage. The genial fire which 
had burned so brightly and so long in the soul of John 
Brougham seemed to have been rekindled in Florence, 
and the unselfishness of both men equalled their dramatic 


gifts. The notes In my brother's box-office book tell 
of many other deaths. James Roberts, his first scenic 
artist, "the finest all-round painter in America," as Daly 
wrote of him, died on March 21. It was he who had 
painted the exquisite scenery of "Play" for the opening 
of the Fifth Avenue Theatre. There is a note of my 
brother's to me on November 20, 1891, telling of the 
burial of Michael Hall, "chief ticket-taker of all the Daly 
Theatres from 1869. Honest, faithful, loyal, & a good 
man." Old John Moore was at this time lamenting 
through a long illness because he could do nothing to 
earn the salary as stage-manager that was regularly sent 
to him. He wrote to Dorney that he had tried to get 
down to the theatre to show himself, at least, but had 

Daly begged off from a proposed dinner in his honor 
at the Lotos Club, but readily joined in a supper to Charles 
Gaylor, "the senior American dramatist," given by 
Bronson Howard. 

A letter from a lady who at one time was a bewitching 
figure on the stage, Mrs. Scott-Siddons, regrets that, 
after calling to attempt "to thank you personally for 
your loveliness to me," she has to send only these lines 
in acknowledgment. She was giving readings from 
Shakespeare and modern authors this year, but had met 
with great disappointment. 

While on tour in Chicago, the company played for the 
benefit of the Children's Home of the Columbian Exhi- 
bition, and at the invitation of the Board of Lady Man- 
agers gave an open-air performance of "As You Like 
It" in the grounds of ex-Senator Farwell, Fairlawn, Lake 
Forest. The scene was a grassy lawn and a semi-circle 
of giant oaks on a bluff eighty feet above the level of 
Lake Michigan. 


The tour closed in San Francisco (Stockwell's Theatre, 
Powell Street) on July 30, 1892, with "A Night Off." 
This was the last performance of John Drew with the 
company. He had been all together sixteen years with 
Daly and thirteen seasons with the present famous organ- 
ization, and would have been willing to remain longer if 
the terms which he had proposed the previous season 
had been agreed to. They would have been reasonable 
enough for a star, but they were not conformable to the 
expense of such a costly company as Daly's. Mr. Drew 
then accepted an offer from Mr. Frohman for a starring 
tour to begin in the fall of 1892. It was inevitable that, 
as each member of the company trained by Mr. Daly 
grew in popularity, the temptation to acquire him or her 
should be felt by other managers. Actors, too, naturally 
feel bound to make the most of their opportunities. 
Drew acted in an entirely straightforward way, and Daly 
had been fully prepared for his departure; but his regret 
was keen at this change in a company which he had kept 
together for a very long time. Fie was not reconciled 
even by the handsome tribute paid to him by Mr. Drew 
on his first appearance under the new management at 
Palmer's Theatre, on October 3, 1892. Being called 
before the curtain, Mr. Drew, after thanking the audi- 
ence which, he said, showed itself composed of kind 
friends rather than of spectators, continued : 

"But I feel that all these plaudits and this great greeting 
might not have been for me had it not been for one who taught 
me how to merit and deserve it — who from the beginning of 
my career has watched and guided my steps, smoothing the 
way to success for me and encouraging me in moments of trial 
and discouragement, and, in fine, striving to make me worthy 
of this honor tonight. I feel too that this poor and halting 
tribute of the heart is little to offer for the years of care and 


trouble he has bestowed on me, but it is from the heart and I 
wish to offer it. I am glad too to offer it before you — his 
friends as well as mine. I see I need not name him — my 
friend and preceptor, Mr. Augustin Daly." 

This speech, which was in excellent taste and wholly 
unexpected, was vehemently applauded ; and many who 
had felt that they could never forgive the breach made in 
a company which had come to be looked upon almost as 
a family, were softened by it. Mr. Drew entered that 
night upon a career of prosperity which added to his 
development as a dramatic artist in the line of modern 
comedy. As a polished exponent of modern roles, Drew 
was excellent, and invariably popular and attractive; 
but it was more than twenty years (1913) before he was 
afforded the opportunity to return to old comedy, in 
which, under the Daly management, he had been so 
prominent and graceful a figure. 

EIGHTH PERIOD: 1893-1899 


Season of 1892-1893. "Little Miss Million." Arthur Bourchier 
succeeds John Drew. Death of Tennyson. Chicago World's 
Fair. Montana and the silver statue of Miss Rehan. Remark- 
able revival of "The Hunchback." Miss Rehan's great perform- 
ance. Madame Eleanora Duse. "As You Like It." "The 
Belle's Stratagem." Miss Clothilde Graves and "The Knave." 
Death of Fanny Kemble. Charity benefits. "The School for 
Scandal." "The Foresters" with Bourchier as Robin Hood. 
Varieties of audiences. "The Taming of the Shrew." "Twelfth 
Night." Letter of John Hay. Miss Rehan and F. Marion Craw- 
ford. Opening of Daly's Theatre, London. Delays overcome. 
The first night. Financial strain. Another 'warning.' Death 
of Edwin Booth. "The Hunchback" put on and fails to draw. 
Daly's letters describe experiences of this trying season. "Love 
in Tandem" tried. Miss Rehan and her bungalow. "Dollars 
and Sense." Nothing draws the public. "The Foresters." 
Sullivan personally rehearses the music. It is produced, and dis- 
appoints expectation except in the artistic sense. A reason for 
the indifference. Burnand's "Orient Express" from the German 
another failure. "The School for Scandal" put on. Dark days 
follow repeated failures. Friendships. At last the tide turns. 
"Twelfth Night" captures London. A hundred performances. 
Comparison with Irving, who failed with the same play. Mrs. 
John Wood and modern plays. Letter from Furness. Joyous 
close of the season. Daly's Theatre, London, firmly established. 

After a holiday abroad, in the course of which a visit 
was paid by Mr. and Mrs. Daly and Miss Rehan to Lord 
Tennyson at Aldworth, Mr. Daly returned home to ar- 
range what turned out to be a season of jubilant success. 
Before oflFering certain important revivals which he had 
in mind, two original comedies from the German intro- 
duced a new leading man, Mr. Arthur Bourchier, whose 
experience before he came to Mr. Daly was gained in the 



companies of Mrs. Langtry and Wyndham. His acting 
was found by the critics to be in entire accord with the 
spirit of the Daly company and to be distinguished by 
simpHcity and good taste. The opening play was "Little 
Miss Million," from Oskar Blumenthal's "Das Zweite 
Gesicht." It was played with great spirit. 

On the date of the production of the new play came 
the press despatches announcing the death of Tennyson. 
It deeply affected my brother, who had been so recently 
welcomed to the Laureate's home. 

The city now began to swarm with crowds on their 
way to the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The 
managers of the Montana Section intended to grace it 
by a statue of Justice, of heroic size, in silver, for which 
Miss Rehan was to be the model. Her photographs were 
taken for the purpose at this time and despatched to the 
sculptor, Mr. R. M. Park. 

"Dollars and Sense" succeeded "Little Miss Million," 
with Gresham In Drew's old part. On November 10, "A 
Test Case" was brought out. This, adapted from Blu- 
menthal and Kadelburg's "Grosstadtluft," was pure 
farce, but much more to the popular taste than "Little 
Miss Million." 

"The Hunchback," announced for November 29, 
and once a favorite star piece, had for some years faded 
out of fashion. Yet the actress who created the part of 
Julia and played it to the author's Master Walter on its 
first production at Covent Garden in 1832 — Fanny 
Kemble — was still living, and there were New Yorkers 
who might have seen its first American performance. 
Miss Rehan was Julia, Miss Irving Helen, Bourchier 
Clifford, George Clarke Master Walter, Creston Clarke 
Modus, James K. Hackett Wilford, Herbert Tinsel, 
Bridgland Hartwell, Bosworth Thomas, and Buckland 


Stephen. The effect of the performance was magical. 
In the character of Julia Miss Rehan attained a height 
of passionate power not reached in any of her previous 
efforts. The press was enthusiastic. The power, beauty, 
and delicacy of her performance, its archness, pathos, 
disdain, scorn, and fire were the general theme. All the 
cast rose to their highest level. George Clarke's Master 
Walter was found to be admirable, dignified, romantic 
and full of feeling. Bourchier's Clifford was polished, 
convincing, spirited, and gallant. The humor of Modus 
and Helen was fresh and unconventional. The Fathom 
of Gilbert, on the other hand, was cast in the most con- 
ventional mould, for the archaic humor of this part will 
as soon move from its traditions as the stars from their 

Many were the friendly words that came to Julia and 
her manager, in addition to the columns of journalistic 
praise. John Drew, then playing in another theatre, came 
to the first Wednesday matinee and frankly wrote to Miss 
Rehan that he only now fully appreciated her art. 

No appreciation ever touched my brother so much as 
that of artists who knew the labor that goes with inspi- 
ration in such work as his. Eleanora Duse was to make 
her American debut at the Fifth Avenue Theatre this 
winter. Her visits to Daly's were frequent during the 
whole season, and as he wrote me, she was "in raptures 
over everything, especially Miss Rehan." 

The throngs that attended the representations were 
immense. The piece had been announced for one week, 
like all the revivals, but it had to be kept on for four. 
Then the programme as published was resumed with 
'*As You Like It," in which Mr. Bourchier played Orlando, 
Lloyd Daubigny sang as Amiens, and Miss Lotta Lynne 
made her debut as Hymen. 


"The Belle's Stratagem," the second in the old comedy- 
series this season, was produced on January 3, 1893, 
It is the only one of Mrs. Hannah Cowley's dozen comedies 
that lives, and, with much greater works, those of Sheri- 
dan and Goldsmith, has survived the eighteenth century. 
New spirit was infused into the performance by Miss 
Rehan as Letitia, Bourchier as Doricourt, Miss Prince as 
Mrs. Rackett, Miss Lynne as Miss Ogle, Gresham as 
Flutter, Herbert as Saville, Craig as Courtall, and Lewis 
as Old Hardy. 

Presented with "The Belle's Stratagem" was a fantasy 
in one act called "The Knave," by Miss Clothilde Graves. 

During the revival of "The Hunchback," Fanny 
Kemble died. She was eighty-three years old (January 
16, 1893) and, as I said, the original Julia of sixty years 
before. In varied accomplishments (she published some 
five works, including "Poems" and "Life on a Georgia 
Plantation"), she was a most remarkable woman. John 
Moore also died this year at seventy-nine ; he had been 
with Daly twenty-three years, as stage manager and 
prompter, and occasionally as performer of some minor 
part in a Shakespearian bill. 

Many charity benefits were given during the season. 

After "The School for Scandal," revived on January 
18, "The Foresters" again appeared on January 24, 
with Bourchier as Robin Hood. Immense throngs again 
came to the play, but Augustin noted on one occasion 
that the audience was "frigid." Audiences difi"er 
strangely in emotion, and it is another of the mysteries 
of the theatre that people of one mind — enthusiastic or 
stolid — come, as if by appointment, on the same night. 
There is no such grouping, however, at matinees. Women 
and young girls usually only come to what they know they 
will like, and they show that they like it. 


"The Taming of the Shrew" followed "The Foresters" 
on February 7. Petruchio was now played for the first 
time at Daly's by George Clarke, in a finished and ro- 
mantic manner. Augustin recorded, "Play seems never 
to have been liked so well." 

On February 21, "Twelfth Night" was announced as 
the last "revival" of the year. This was a modest adver- 
tisement of a production that was to take rank with the 
finest achievements of the American stage, and to be the 
admiration of London as well as of New York. Augus- 
tin recorded on that first night that the performance 
"created almost a sensation In the audience." This 
letter from John Hay is more or less a summary of public 
and private opinion regarding it : 

" 800 Sixteenth Street, Lafayette Square, 

Washington, D. C March 29th, 1893. 
Dear Mr. Daly, 

I hope I am not intruding too far upon the privilege of an 
acquaintance which was of the slightest and which may have 
been forgotten by you, to write you a word, not only of con- 
gratulation but of personal gratitude on your splendid success 
in 'Twelfth Night' ... I felt that I must write and thank 
you personally for the pleasure you have given us. It is hard 
to estimate the good you are doing In putting before the public 
such a magnificent result of combined Industry, liberality, 
intelligence and taste. Your 'Twelfth Night' is saturated 
with beauty and poetry; the most enchanting dreams of fairy- 
land are there, Incarnate before our eyes. I hardly see how 
scenic art can go further. . . ." 

The cast was as follows : Orsino, Creston Clarke ; 
Sebastian, Sidney Herbert; Antonio, Charles Wheatleigh; 
A Sea Captain, Eugene Jepson ; Valentine, James K. 
Hackett; Curio, Wilfred Buckland ; Sir Toby Belch, James 
Lewis ; Fabian, William Gilbert; Clown, Lloyd Daubigny ; 


Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Herbert Gresham ; Malvolio, 
George Clarke ; Captain, John Craig ; Officer, Rankin 
Duval ; Priest, Thomas Bridgland ; Olivia, Adelaide 
Prince ; Maria, Catharine Lewis ; Viola, Ada Rehan. 

The last night of the season was to be a leave-taking 
of the company for more than a year, during which they 
were to inaugurate the new Daly's Theatre in London. 
In Mr. Daly's parting address he spoke of a prospect of 
plays by Henry James and Marion Crawford. He was 
still anxious to use one of Mr. Howell's comedies, con- 
cerning which the author wrote (January ii, 1893) : 

"I have written a great many of them since you underlined 
the first so long ago, and they have had great acceptance all 
over the country among amateurs, without ever getting upon 
the stage. I do not say it is not their fault, but The Mouse- 
trap seems like something that might please the larger and 
severer public that pays for its pleasure." 

Apropos of Crawford's play, the editor of the Phila- 
delphia Press relates a dinner conversation between Ada 
Rehan and the novelist. Crawford contended for the 
supremacy of the author over the actor. After remark- 
ing that America had produced no great novelist, although 
Hawthorne "stood on the threshold of immortality," 
he asked Miss Rehan whether she could play her best 
before an undemonstrative audience, or whether she 
needed applause. She replied "Applause! We must 
have it. No matter how devoted to art an actress may 
be, without applause or without the quiet sympathy 
which is felt but not always heard, we collapse ! I 
could not play my best without feeling that my audience 
was with me." "That shows," said Crawford, "how 
temporary the stage is. Hawthorne could write the 
greatest novel and wait twenty years patiently before he 


saw it recognized and applauded," It may or may not 
be material to inquire how Hawthorne would have felt 
if he had read a story to an undemonstrative assemblage. 
Besides, the author writes for posterity. The actor lives 
and dies in the present. 

The opening of the new London Theatre was announced 
for June, 1893, the contract with Mr. Edwardes having 
called for its completion by Lady Day, March 25 ; but 
there had been a strike of bricklayers throughout the 
United Kingdom in the previous year (settled, it is inter- 
esting to note, by conceding a nine-hour day, a Saturday 
half-holiday, and a half-penny an hour increase in wages), 
and when Mr. Daly arrived on May 13, he found hardly 
more than four bare walls and a roof. Architect and 
contractors informed him that it would be impossible to 
have the theatre ready by the time promised. Upon 
hearing their opinion he camped on the spot, established 
his office in the builder's shack on the street, and, as one 
paper said, "haunted the place day and night, brought in 
double shifts of workmen, and spurred everybody along 
at a most un-British rate of speed." On June 27 the 
opening took place. The auditorium was in dark red, 
relieved by gold ornaments on a ground of silver, the 
woodwork of mahogany inlaid with colored woods, and 
the curtains and hangings of crimson damask. 

Irving wrote "Welcome," and on the opening night 
sent "Salutation and greeting!" The new Lord Tenny- 
son telegraphed "All best wishes." There was a superb 
audience when the curtain rose, including Ambassador 
Thomas F. Bayard and his family, the Marquis and 
Marchioness of Salisbury, Mr. W. W. Astor and Mrs. 
Astor, Mr. Mackay, Baron Rothschild, Sir Arthur Sulli- 
van, Henry James, Mr. Thomas Hardy, and Percy 


The company engaged for Daly's London Theatre was 
immense. There were sixty-one principals and nine- 
teen in the chorus, as we learn from the "directory" of 
names and addresses posted in the prompter's office. 
"The Taming of the Shrew" was the opening piece, and 
was welcomed "with a passion of enthusiasm." Percy 
Fitzgerald wrote to Mr. Daly: "It was wonderful! 
We have nothing like it." 

Notwithstanding so auspicious an opening, Daly was 
this year to face great disappointment and distress. The 
successes of less than two years before seemed now to 
count almost for nothing. It was hard for one thing to 
get the Lyceum public to go anywhere else. Daly's 
new theatre had no public; it had to make one for itself, 
and the process was bound to be slow. The adventurous 
manager was like Cortez in Mexico, only with more than 
one melancholy night before him. He had had previ- 
sions. Before the opening he wrote to me of certain 
omens : 

"You remember, when I opened the Grand Opera House, 
the first day I occupied my office there I found a leaf from the 
bible blown in through an open window & lying on my desk, & 
reading it over I was quite struck with the last verses of that 
leaf. They were in Luke XIV, verses 28, 29, 30.^ Now on 
my Shakespeare calendar I found on May 6th, the date of my 
departure to build up this new Tower in which I am now en- 
gaged, this verse — 'Wisely and slow! They stumble that 
run fast.' It is from Romeo and Juliet. And on the date of 
my arrival in England & London, May 13th, this quotation: 
'It is the bright day which brings forth the adder and that 

1 28. For which of you having a mind to build a tower doth not first sit 
down and reckon the charges that are necessary whether he have wherewithal 
to finish it. 29. Lest after he hath laid the foundation and is not able to 
finish it, all that see him begin to mock. him. 30. Saying, This man began 
to build and was not able to finish. 


craves wary walking'; from Julius Cesar. Both wise and 
timely warnings, don't you think so?" 

After the opening, news came of the death of Edwin 
Booth on June 7 at The Players. 

On July II "The Hunchback" was brought out at the 
new theatre, and the Londoners, like the New Yorkers, 
were enraptured with Miss Rehan's Julia. Some critics, 
however, could not restrain their indignation at the at- 
tempt to resuscitate so antiquated a play, though it was 
conceded that new life had been breathed into it, and one 
reviewer declared that Miss Rehan delivered "its foolish 
speeches with such purity of enunciation, such a rich 
variety of utterance and modulation that she charmed as 
a great singer charms." Nevertheless, it was declared 
that producing such a play was "one of the insoluble 
mysteries of management." But the manager shall give 
his own account of his experiences : 

"Well — the Hunchback is out and on. You ask me how it 
goes. I can scarcely express the 'how' to myself. All who 
are sensitive to their own impressions seem to like it & to like 
it immensely. We have had several parties here twice already 
since Tuesday. But there are an equal number of playgoers 
who would have liked to like it, I think — but cold water has 
been thrown on their enthusiasm & they (those of them who 
have dared to come) have shown a sort of lukewarm pleasure. 
The piece and the performance were prejudged ; several of 
the papers (Pall Mall, etc.) making a dead set against the choice 
of such a fossil from the start. . . . Miss Rehan and the 
company have held their own." 

"Love in Tandem" was given on July 18 with Bourchier 
as Dymond, the part created in New York by Drew. Miss 
Violet Vanbrugh, a valuable addition to the company, suc- 
ceeded Miss Prince as Mme. Lauretta. My brother wrote : 


"A splendid audience on Tuesday and a most surprising 
second night, as second nigiits go here. The play did not go 

with roars, because roared & roared through his part, 

& gored so many of his good lines — lines which led to others' 
points also — that I don't think more than half was under- 
stood. It was laughed over, however, (the play) and very 
heartily at times, and the curtain was called up twice after 
each act, and at the end they gave me a call. It was all 
enjoyed, I think, but considered light and frivolous. However, 
it is seasonable and may go a third (or extra) week to good 
business, & will be good for revival in the autumn in case any- 
thing should drop suddenly or fizzle out. I believe the greatest 
successes here, when they drop, drop to nothing suddenly & 
all at once — unlike our own, which give you timely warning 
of their decay. Ah ! the study, the interesting study these 
two stages are — the English and the American. I have just 
opened your birthday letter. I don't feel 55 — but I suppose 
I am — yet since I came to London this time I've felt a hun- 
dred, now and then." 

Miss Rehan spent her holiday this summer at "The 
Bungalow" on the sandy coast of the Irish sea betw^een 
Seascale and Ravenglas, vi^here it vi^as her delight to enter- 
tain her English and American friends. 

The autumn season opened vi^ith "Dollars and Sense." 

"September 30, 1893. 

... I was very glad to get your letter of the i8th, for I was 
(and am just now) quite as low in spirit as I have been at any 
time since the dark December days of 1873 and the equally 
dark days of 1879-80. Nothing so far seems to have been 
exactly what was wanted by the public in the new house. 
Taming the Shrew was only accepted for its memories & for 
Miss Rehan. The Hunchback seems to have been rejected 
on account of its memories — they have had enough of it, & 
even a Julia from Heaven would scarcely have stirred them 
from their prejudice against the play. Love in Tandem was 


considered too trivial, and now Dollars & Sense is too farcical 
& too unworthy of Miss Rehan ; and not even Lewis and Mrs. 
Gilbert can pull half a house in their favorite parts, and yet the 
reception of the piece on the opening seemed to be fairly fa- 
vorable. . . . 

... I am of course in the midst of preparation for The 
Foresters, which is to be produced on Tuesday next. There is 
as yet no public interest shown in the production. Tennyson's 
name & the success of Becket (at the Lyceum) have not helped 
it one atom. If it draws or succeeds it will be altogether upon 
the merits of the first night's performance. The rehearsals 
promise fairly. Bourchier alone is out of the picture. He 
is so modern for a poetic play." 

It was given on October 3 : 

"October 6th, 1893. 

Only a line — for my spirits are low. . . . All the notices 
were lovely. The calls & recalls and encores were most en- 
thusiastic, and most people thought the thing was good for a 
fair run ; but I felt from the first that it had no life — because 
there was no advance take, no preliminary interest. Tennyson 
is a dead lion, you know, and no one cares for him just now." 

Everything had been done for the play. Sullivan re- 
hearsed the music in person, having written as early as 
September 8: "I take the very keenest interest in the 
production of the ' Foresters, ' & should desire to personally 
superintend the musical arrangements." The first per- 
formance was so warmly received that F. C. Burnand 
wrote Mr. Daly next day : "I think you ought to do well 
with the Foresters, which is beautifully put upon the 
stage. Its weakness is in the last act, & this Is especially 
shown in the Sheriff (Isn't he .'') & Abbot. Of course the 
plot Is not strong, but this Is lost sight of In the beauty of 
the setting. ... As it was, the verdict was most favor- 
able, & 'charming' was on everyone's lips." This was 


the first time that the new Lord Tennyson saw the play ; 
he wrote: "My mother has telegraphed our warmest 
congratulations on the triumphant success of 'The 
Foresters' last night. You deserve the thanks of all 
who care for a thing of beauty. Miss Rehan was excel- 
lent and looked noble." Charles Oilier wrote on Octo- 
ber 15: 

"The reasons for its failure to draw the EngHsh public are, 
I think, not far to seek. 'The Foresters' is an abstract poem 
. . . but it is not a drama — very little story, very little human 
interest and hardly any 'situations.' The witch scene and the 
appearance of Richard are weak and commonplace. . . . To 
me the performance, with the exquisitely delicate accessories 
with which you have surrounded it, was a treat and a charm — 
while all taking part in the play were excellent, Miss Rehan 
was superlative. ..." 

On October 13 Augustin was forced to repeat: 

"The Foresters has proven a very great failure. I am 
running it next week alternately with The Last Word. ... I 
have put Burnand's play in rehearsal and shall produce it on 
the 25th. It reads very funny. I do hope it will pull me out 
of the mire." 

"Oct. 23, 1893. 

I do not know what to make of this apathy. But I suppose 
it is the old story of the new theatre which has to be built up." 

Burnand's new play was "The Orient Express," an 
adaptation of Blumenthal and Kadelburg's farce "Orient- 
reise." Mr. Burnand worked hard on "The Orient 
Express." The manager was as hopeful as the author, 
but his letters record another failure : 

"October 27, 1893. 

The fates are still unpropitious. The Orient Express was 
produced on Wednesday to £175, on Thursday to £170 and 


tonight to less than £100. I was sure the piece was not a hit 
on the opening, and was surprised to see so good a second night. 
The fun seems all to be in the first act, after that it goes to 
pieces. I begin rehearsing School for Scandal today : That 
is my next go. . . . I have wretched nights and dreadfully 
black awakenings — all seems such terribly uphill work. . . . 
I'm paying dreadfully for my ambition." 

"Nov. 4, 1893. 
The wintry fogs are on us and we have also had some wintry 
rains during the past week. Add to this condition the streets 
torn up (for over 3 weeks now) in front of the theatre & you 
have a picture of the outside view of things. As for the inside, 
we are quite as dismal. This week, the second of The Orient 
Express, we had on Monday £67, Tuesday £76, Wednesday 
£79, Thursday £61, Friday £80. I have to run it next week 
to get School for Scandal ready. This of course is my big 
hope — next to Twelfth Night — & if that fizzles I shall gasp." 

On November 13 the "School for Scandal" was pro- 
duced, Augustin wrote concerning it : 

"November 7th, 1893. 
The papers are evenly divided for and against our produc- 
tion & Miss R's Lady Teazle." 

The "School for Scandal" was kept on until the end 
of the year, although the receipts decreased each week. 
My brother wrote : 

"November 30, 1893. 

The School for Scandal has made an artistic impression and 
does excite the enthusiasm of all — but alas ! it does not turn 
hundreds away, as we understand that term in New York. . . . 
The month of December I hear is a dreadful time for theatres 
in London. . . . The impression here is that we have a great 
success. . . . There have been dreadful seasons in London 
heretofore, but I believe this is one of the worst they have had 
for years." 


"Dec. 30, 1893. 

The old year has given me some hard knocks, but as they 
have not yet floored me perhaps they have only hardened me 
for more to come. The light of better days does not throw- 
any very strong or promising rays upon business over here; 
and on every side the howls of managers & 'backers' are heard. 
The pantomime at Irving's theatre" (Irving was playing then 
in America) " is almost a frost, & must have cost £8,000 to 
put on the stage, & must cost £1,500 a week to run it. The 
house last night was not half full & that partly paper — 4th 
night of production. Drury Lane pantomime is a fair success, 
but Covent Garden, 'Noah's Ark,' is a frost. These are the 
big seasonable shows ; the little ones are frozen over & out 
of sight. . . . Dorney hopes I won't come home till Easter. 
Of course if I can live here I won't." 

Perhaps all along the manager ought to have ascribed 
the absence of extensive London patronage partly to de- 
pression in trade, but his experience had been that an 
attractive entertainment is not affected by that cause ; 
hence his concern at finding that what were but a few 
months before the most popular entertainers in London 
failed to fill their houses either with old plays or 
new. He felt the ground slipping from under his feet, 
and dreaded that each new production would add to 
the failures crowding upon him. But looking back 
upon this discouraging time there appear great com- 
pensations. To friendships then formed my brother 
owed encouragement which enabled him to keep his 
footing in the struggle, the uncertainties of which clouded 
the closing year. 

On January 8 the turning in the long lane of disap- 
pointments was reached ; the fascination exercised by 
"Twelfth Night" in New York was found as potent in 
England. Not all at once ; the play that was to make the 


unprecedented record (for "Twelfth Night") of a hun- 
dred performances, began at the bottom of the financial 

Irving's production of "Twelfth Night" was in 1884, 
and the London Standard (January 9, 1894) recalling it, 
says, "It is inexplicable that in spite of the thoroughly 
appreciative study of Malvolio by Mr. Irving and the 
infinite charm of Miss Ellen Terry's Viola, the work is 
understood to have proved much the least attractive of 
the series of Shakespearean revivals for which playgoers 
are so deeply indebted to the manager of the Lyceum." 
And yet Irving, it is certain, omitted nothing that taste 
and experience could add to his production. "In these 
days," says the Telegraph (January 9, 1894), "it is very 
difficult for a manager to persuade his public to take 
Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' seriously. Yet Mr. Au- 
gustin Daly has performed the miracle with admirable 

Letters on "Twelfth Night" were received from Burne 
Jones and from LInley Sambourne (who brought John 
Tenniel to the play), Julia St. George, who had studied 
under Samuel Phelps and Macready, Mrs. Crowe (Kate 
Bateman), who wrote of coming with her old friend Emma 
Marble, whom she was sure Mr. Daly must "remember 
about 100 years ago in Brooklyn"; and Mrs. John 
Wood, who was to bring the famous Mrs. Keeley, and 
who predicted what was coming to comic actresses in 
the new "problem play" tidal wave : 

"I think my next piece should be Mrs. Rip Van Winkle after 
the 100 years sleep. It Is not my fault I've not acted — It's 
the authors who are to blame. They won't be funny, and 
they are driving me to tradegy — I can't even spell the word, 
how shall I act it .^ But what is to become of me .'' I thought 
Emilia in Othello would be a nice easy part to begin with. She 


walks on and off so much I could get used to the stage — and 
my black velvet train ! Think about this and tell me to-night." 

Ambassador Bayard wrote immediately after the first 
night to sound his "note of admiration in the great 
chorus." Furness exulted from the other shore: 

" Bless thee, bully Daly — it does me good to see your copper- 
plate handwriting again. Of the success of you and yours in 
'Twelfth Night' the cable has already apprised us, and my 
heart did so joy thereat that I echoed Walt Whitman and gave 
a barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world." 

The exciting first season in the new theatre closed on 
May 5, 1894, with "As You Like It." In addition to the 
arduous duty of appearing in eleven productions in as 
many months, the actors had participated in several 
charitable performances and had played again at Strat- 
ford. Before leaving England Mr. Daly made an ar- 
rangement by which Mr. George Edwardes was to occupy 
the London theatre with one of his musical productions, 
but earlier engagements were filled by Mme. Eleanora 
Duse (June 11) and Mme. Sarah Bernhardt (June 23), 
and were extremely profitable. The new Daly's Theatre 
was now firmly established. Mr. Daly's lease ran to 
Christmas, 1913. 


Dorney in charge of Daly's, New York, for the season of 1 893-1 894. 
Rosina Yokes. Her death. Keller, the magician. Mme. Pilar 
Morin. Sol Smith Russell. De Koven and Macdonough's "Alge- 
rian." James A. Heme and "Shore Acres," — a novelty and a 
success. Return of Mr. Daly. His new policy. Musical com- 
edies to share the Daly season, and the dramatic company to be 
divided. Dixey joins the company. The new musical comedy 
from London, "The Gaiety Girl." Congratulations from abroad 
on its success. Its great run. "Twelfth Night" with Dixey as 
Malvolio, his first Shakespearian part. The Laetare Medal. 
Newcomers — Frank Worthing, Miss Maxine Elliott, Miss Cecilia 
Loftus. "Heart of Ruby." Miss Oldcastle. Seventh great 
Shakespearian revival, "The Two Gentlemen of Verona." "A 
Bundle of Lies." "A Tragedy Rehearsed." The season concludes 
with the revival of "The Honeymoon." 

While Mr. Daly was away Mr. Richard Dorney was left 
in charge of the home establishment, and had his troubles. 
Not, however, with Miss Rosina Yokes in her cheerful 
season, — her last here, for she died at Torquay in January, 
1894. Mr. Keller, the prestidigitator, came next, and 
with him "The Loan of a Lover," with Miss Catharine 
Lewis, William Gilbert, James K. Hackett, Eugene Jepson, 
and Wilfred Buckland, made up the bill. Dorney next 
engaged a company of French pantomimists led by Mdlle. 
Pilar Morin in a revival of "L'Enfant Prodigue," and then 
Mr. Sol Smith Russell in "Peaceful Valley," "A Poor 
Relation," and "April Weather." Then came "The 
Algerian" by De Koven and Macdonough, and "The 
Fencing Master" by De Koven and Smith. Up to this 
time, December, 1893, the season had been running behind 
financially, but Mr. Dorney was now also to experience 



"the Governor's" turn of luck. On Christmas Day 
Mr. James A. Heme brought his company to the theatre in 
" Shore Acres." Henry Irving, then playing in New York, 
paid a visit to Daly's and was delighted with it — Heme 
as dramatist, actor, and stage manager showed uncommon 
skill. Stoddard was having a still greater success in the 
mornings with his illustrated lecture upon a visit to 
Oberammergau and the Passion Play. It drew crowds, 
and was given at night when the dramatic season was over. 

With the return of Mr. Daly a new policy was an- 
nounced. During the long visit to England he had been 
convinced that musical comedies were destined to be 
permanent attractions everywhere. He arranged with 
George Edwardes for American seasons of that gentleman's 
productions, intending to divide the theatrical year be- 
tween them and his own dramatic season. His company 
was to be divided for touring purposes, Lewis and Mrs. 
Gilbert to head one division and Miss Rehan, as a star, 
the other. The versatile and gifted Henry E. Dixey was 
engaged for "A Night Off" and "Seven-Twenty-Eight," 
and both plays were given at a summer season at Daly's. 

The first of Edwardes' musical plays now arrived, and 
its success confirmed Mr. Daly in his purpose of making 
such entertainments a regular feature of each season. 
This had been his idea in 1879 when he brought out "The 
Royal Middy," and was in fact a very